Should the Rhino Horn Trade be legalised? Why has the poaching of rhinos in South Africa skyrocketed in recent years? How has Kruger National Park managed to get it so wrong, with the highest rhino “kill rate” of all parks? Does South Africa’s unique social challenges – like land rights and poverty – make it particularly vulnerable to rhino poaching?
These are just some of the questions that will form what is sure to be a vigorous debate at the “Rhino Wars” talk, part of the 5th annual Knysna Literary Festival, presented by Pam Golding Properties.
The debate will be led by investigative journalist Julian Rademeyer, author of the book, “Killing for Profit.”
“I think the rhino trade is getting significantly worse,” says Rademeyer. “In the last four years we’ve lost more than 2200 rhino- that is seven times the number that we lost in the preceding 27 years.”
He adds, “Illegal rhino horn trading is carried out by highly ingenious criminal networks who are adept at finding their way around regulations and loopholes. For the syndicate bosses there is little risk, but for the poachers – who are often recruited from local villages where there is little work to be found – the risk is high.”
Knysna local Andrew Campbell, head of Conservation Matters (an environmental consultancy) & member of the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa, will also join the debate.
Campbell says “The rhino poaching crisis in the Kruger National Park, where more than 1000 rhinos have been poached since 2010, is deplorable. I believe that incursions by professionally trained and armed militia from Mozambique are tantamount to acts of war.”
He continues, “The rangers are very dedicated but are having to operate in an environment that is not customary to what the profession actually entails. The Department of Defence needs to step to the plate.”
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Join the “Rhino Wars” debate from 11h30 – 13h00 on 23 March at Conrad Pezula Hotel Resort and Spa. Tickets are priced at R100 per person and can be purchased via EFT.
Presented by Pam Golding Properties, the 5th annual festival takes place 18-23 March 2014 with 12 events and some 18 top authors taking part. For more information, visit www.KnysnaLiteraryFestival.co.za or phone 044 382 5574.
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The Knysna Literary Festival proudly supports local charities, e’Pap Children’s Feed Project and the TSiBA Eden Campus Library.
Issued on behalf of: Knysna Literary Festival, presented by Pam Golding Properties
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