Target: Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Minister of the Environment
Goal: Praise South Africa’s decision to uphold the ban on the international rhino horn trade.
South Africa has abandoned its plan to end the ban on the international rhino horn trade. The country was considering a lift on the ban to make the rhino horn trade legal, a move that would have had devastating consequences for rhino populations that are increasingly threatened by poaching. Numerous conservationists protested this proposal, including a petition published on ForceChange. Now, the Committee of Inquiry that was appointed to study the issue has agreed with these protests, and the government of South Africa has accepted its recommendation to drop the dangerous proposal.
However, while this is good news, it is far from a solution to save the quickly decreasing rhino population from facing extinction. According to National Geographic, rhino poaching has increased by a staggering amount in the last decade with 1,338 rhinos killed in 2015 alone, the sixth year in a row that poaching has increased due to a high demand for rhino horns. Had the ban on rhino horn trade been lifted, demand would only continue to rise as the stigma of harming an endangered species would be taken away.
It is vitally important to maintain the perception that threatened species like the rhino must be protected, and South Africa has made the right decision in sustaining that belief. Sign the petition below to praise the country’s decision to uphold the ban on the international rhino horn trade, and urge that further actions are taken to protect the rhino from poaching that is driving the species toward extinction.
Dear Minister Molewa,
South Africa has made the right decision in abandoning its plan to propose a lift of the ban on the international rhino horn trade. Thanks to a recommendation from the Committee of Inquiry that was appointed to study the issue, we know that the problem of rhino poaching would not be resolved by making the rhino horn trade legal, and this decision would only have further endangered this highly threatened species.
Rhino poaching has been increasing dramatically over the last decade with a record 1,338 rhinos killed in Africa in 2015. The high demand for rhino horns means that more rhinos than ever are being killed by poachers hoping to make money off of their horns. Had the international ban on the rhino horn trade been lifted, demand would only have risen even higher as the stigma of harming an endangered species would have been removed.
South Africa’s decision to maintain the ban will uphold the essential belief that threatened species like the rhino must be protected. However, further conservation efforts are necessary to keep the rhino from being driven to extinction by poachers. We, the undersigned, would like to thank you for maintaining the ban on rhino horn trade. Please continue to consider the best ways to protect this dwindling species and take every possible action to protect the rhino from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tom Conger