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1 August 2015 - The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, has paid tribute to game rangers working at the coalface of conservation in South Africa.
“The work of a ranger is a diverse and complex one. They have and will continue to lead the way for us in conserving our country’s natural wonders.. in tribute to all that they do, let us follow in their footsteps, each and every one of us,” said Minister Molewa.
The Minister and the Chief Executive of SANParks, Mr Fundisile Mketeni, on Saturday, 1 August 2015, hosted a World Ranger Day commemoration at the Marakele National Park in Limpopo. The event was a partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and South African National Parks (SANParks).
Annually World Ranger Day is marked internationally on 31 July, and is a day set aside annually to commemorate rangers all over the world who have died in the course of their duties, and who risk their lives daily as they work at the forefront of conservation.
Minister Molewa pointed that the Constitutional provision relating to environmental rights emphasises the protection and regeneration of our environment as an inheritance.
“Like many countries, South Africa faces the challenge of managing its natural endowments in the face of increased environmental degradation. The threats are varied, complex and multi-faceted, and range from the threat posed by climate change, to the activities of transnational, organised criminal syndicates involved in the illegal trade and trafficking of wildlife,” said the Minister. “It is our rangers who are at the frontline: whether they are battling wildfires, or confronting poachers.”
The World Ranger Day 2015 commemoration focused on the work of rangers in combating rhino crime, many of whom faced a daily battle to protect parts of the country’s natural heritage, such as the rhino, abalone and cycads.
“As you will know, one of Africa’s most iconic species, the rhino, is increasingly under threat from the poacher’s gun. Rhino populations around the country are vulnerable, as are the rangers who have dedicated their lives to protecting the animals,” said the Minister.Read more...
New York, USA, 30th July 2015—The 69th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly today adopted a resolution committing countries to step up their collective efforts to address wildlife crime and put an end to the global poaching crisis.
Resolution A/RES/69/314 on Tackling the Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife was co-sponsored by Gabon, Germany and more than 80 other nations and is the culmination of three years of diplomatic efforts.
“This is an historic day—the world has sent an unequivocal and collective signal at the highest-level that ending wildlife crime is a top priority,” said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.
The UN resolution encourages countries to “adopt effective measures to prevent and counter the serious problem of crimes that have an impact on the environment, such as illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products…as well as poaching.”
The resolution also recognizes the broader impacts of wildlife crime, including the undermining of good governance, the rule of law and the well-being of local communities.
Action along the entire trade chain is encouraged, with Member States urged to treat wildlife trafficking involving organized criminal groups as a serious crime, implement anti-money laundering measures, establish national-level inter-agency wildlife crime task forces, strengthen judicial processes and law enforcement efforts, prevent and counter corruption, and reduce the demand for threatened wildlife products “using targeted strategies in order to influence consumer behaviour”.
Rhino poaching is very much in the news and we are all shocked and horrified by the brutal attack on these amazing creatures. Greed and the subsequent cruelty against these defenseless giants of the bush, brings out the desire to DO SOMETHING!!
South Africa has such a proud heritage of being in touch with nature and the National Parks are such an attraction to visitors from all over the world as well as for us to enjoy. The attacks and poaching in the Kruger National Park has galvanised South Africans in to getting together and getting involved.
So many people have expressed the desire to do just that “get involved” but don’t know how or what to do. The enthusiastic team at Unitrans Volkswagen are a group that are going all out to make a difference and to give the community the ability to make a difference too.
As a subsidiary of the Unitrans Volkswagen, are extremely proud and committed to be a pivotal part of the drive to Unite against Poaching. This initiative has entered into an arrangement with SANParks whereby funds are pledged by participating dealers to be used specifically in the fight against rhino poaching. The dealers pledges funds for each vehicle they sell (both new and Pre-owned) to the trust fund without disadvantaging the customer’s deal. This is a company donation and the customer will still get the best deal in town! The funds generated are administered by the SANParks Honorary Rangers who are all volunteers, so all funds pledged are used for their intention and no administrative costs are incurred.
How can YOU make a difference? Each time a member of the public buys a vehicle from a participating dealer they are directly helping because their purchase is a direct pledge to the trust fund. The more vehicles sold, the higher the pledge to the fund and the more money there is to spend in counter poaching. Make sure all your family, friends and colleagues know that they too can make a difference and get a fantastic deal at the same time.
What happens to the funds? So far the trust fund has handed over R 8 Million to be used to fight poaching. The money is used effectively and efficiently and is not used for administration. The SANParks Honorary Rangers have already supplied basic bush survival equipment to 400 rangers in the Kruger National Park! This includes tents, sleeping bags, first aid kits, cooking equipment, rucksacks, compasses etc so that the rangers are able to survive in the bush for long periods without having to go back to base camp. This makes them much more effective in tracking the poachers.
Advanced surveillance training has also been paid for and money has also been donated towards funding the research into the DNA profiling of rhino. This helps in identifying specific rhinos when poachers are caught and the data has already been used in court to prosecute poachers.
We are also the proud sponsors of the Unitrans Volskwagen Tracker hound unit. These amazing hounds called Chico, Jetta and Kombi have already helped neutralize 17 poachers in 2015 alone.
What this means is that YOU, the public can rest assured that by purchasing your vehicle from a Unitrans Volkswagen dealer you are directly contributing to the fight against poaching in the Kruger Park. We need your help to achieve this.
Show your support for Unite against Poaching, pop into a participating dealership and ask for your bumper sticker for your vehicles and MAKE A DIFFERENCE to the war against rhino poaching.
To identify which are the participating dealerships and for further information you can also log onto the website www.uniteagainstpoaching.co.za.
We are delighted to present Rhino Tears wines.
These 2 delightful drinking wines have been specially crafted by the winemakers at Mount Vernon in support of Unite against Poaching.
For each bottle sold, the winemaker will make a R 15 donation to the Unite against Poaching fund. There has already been a R 200 000 contribution to Unite against Poaching since the launch of this range in December 2014. What a unique way to make a positive contribution to help save our rhinos.
The resulting wines comprise of a good red blend made from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage grapes that allows for easy drinking and appeals to all levels of palate. The white is a delightful fruit driven Chenin Blanc, suitable for enjoying at all occasions
These wines are now available at Macro, Pick N Pay, SPAR, Tops, Fruit n Veg City and major independent retailers.
To order wines directly from the winemaker for delivery anywhere in South Africa please click here and the friendly team will ensure your wine reaches you shortly.
Click here to fill in your order!
Survival equipment to the value of R2 million was handed over at a ceremony in Phalaborwa today, 31 October 2014. Major General (r) Johan Jooste, Commanding Officer, Special Projects for South African National Parks, and representatives of the Ranger Corps were on hand to receive the equipment. The donation was made possible by the Unite against Poaching Trust and the SANParks Honorary Rangers.
Louis Lemmer (Chairman, SANParks Honorary Rangers), Maj Gen Jooste ( Commander, Special Operations KNP), John Turner & Snowy Botha ( SANParks Honorary Rangers Conservation Services)
The equipment which was handed over comprises of basic as well as specialist equipment, which is needed by the men and woman of the Ranger Corps within the Kruger National Park. It includes survival tools such as tents, camp mattresses, torches, sleeping bags, knives, groundsheets, ponchos, water bottles, cooking equipment, headlamps, mosquito nets, medical equipment and GPS’s. Rangers spend extended periods of time in the bush in clandestine operations to fight the poachers. Specialised as well as basic survival equipment is needed to enable them to perform these duties effectively.
Unitrans Volkswagen, in establishing the innovative “Unite against Poaching Trust” is committed to making a significant and sustainable difference in the war against rhino poaching within our national Parks. The Funding for the Unite against Poaching Trust is generated primarily from a Unitrans Volkswagen corporate pledge. For every vehicle sold both new and pre-owned in the 10 participating dealership countrywide, funds are pledged to the Unite against Poaching Trust. Since its inception three years ago, the Unite against Poaching Trust has donated more than R 8 million towards anti-poaching projects within our National Parks. What makes this initiative so unique is that 100% of the funds pledged are utilised for anti-poaching support.
Kevin Gillmer Divisional Chief Executive of Unitrans Volkswagen is determined to ensure that the funds which are pledged to the Unite against Poaching Trust are used effectively and efficiently in support of those men and woman who are on the ground, putting their lives on the line and fighting to ensure the rhinos are safeguarded for future generations. The SANParks Honorary Rangers is the official volunteer organisation of SANParks. Through their close working relationship with the SANParks counter poaching unit they know where the priority needs are. Because the Honorary Rangers are unpaid volunteers no funds are used for administration and every sent donated towards counter poaching is utilised solely for this purpose. They therefore have the unique ability to best utilise the resources available to make a real difference in the poaching war on the ground. “This equipment handover once again confirms our ongoing commitment to the war against rhino poaching in general and rhino poaching in particular” Gillmer said. “We need to make sure that our rangers are as well as, if not better equipped, than the poachers they come up against on a daily basis.
“It is our privilege to represent the people of South Africa in support of our national parks.” said Louis Lemmer, National Chairperson of the SANParks Honorary Rangers. “South Africans are united against rhino poaching. It is through the support of the people of South Africa and proudly South African companies such as Unitrans Volkswagen, that we will win this war.”
Unitrans Volkswagen is justifiably proud of their contribution, in partnership with the SANParks Honorary Rangers, ensuring that the Rangers in the field are able to continue to safeguard the rhinos for future generations. We would like to encourage members of the public and corporates to join us in this fight against rhino poaching within our national parks by ensuring that the next Volkswagen vehicle they purchase is made from one our participating dealerships. The more vehicles which are purchased the more funding we are able to pledge to the fight against rhino poaching. Please visit www.uniteagainstpoaching.co.za to see how you can make a difference. The time is now, for everyone to Unite against Poaching to help ensure this precious heritage for our children’s children.