I was positively impressed to learn that the Howard G Buffet foundation had made a considerable contribution to the anti rhino poaching initiatives in South Africa. More specifically, these funds will be used to develop techniques and technology aimed at reducing the poaching along the eastern border of the Kruger National Park, a border shared with Mozambique.
The Kruger is home to about 9000 rhinos, about 40% of the world population. During the whole of 2013, 1004 rhinos were killed for their horns; this year, 2014, 127 rhinos suffered a similar fate (Stats Here). The levels of poverty in Mozambique (in the top 10 poorest countries in the world) contribute to this crisis. In addition, Kruger's poaching problem is fueled mainly by criminal networks in Mozambique, South Africa and South East Asia.
I posted an earlier blog reflecting on Jackie Chan's use of his celebrity status to appeal for the end of rhino poaching. Last month 40 countries signed the 'London Declaration' which aims to get countries to collaborate in the fight against animal slaughter for profit and to put an end to the trade of animal parts worldwide. Unfortunately South Africa did not show up to this event as the political class were involved in infinitely more important matters - attending the opening of parliament. South Africa also refused to sign up to the Declaration as it wants to be free to trade rhino horn.
I hope the funds contributed or committed in good faith by the Buffet Foundation, Standard Bank, Unitrans and others to reduce poaching are appropriately channel to protect the long-term viability of the rhino in southern Africa and not to feather the bed of the corrupt politicians.