Vietnam announced their national ban on rhino specimen trade, import and export earlier this week. Finally, one for the rhinos! With 2013 still in its early days, a total of 32 rhinos fell prey to illegal poaching in South Africa’s deadly bushveld rhino war. This is one conservation war that will not be won without international help. Vietnam’s recent directive banning the trade of any rhino specimen or rhino products, is a sure step towards victory.
Vietnam’s ban on trading of rhino specimens or rhino products is confirmed fifteen months after the critically endangered Javan rhino has officially been declared extinct in Vietnam. The last Javan rhino was quietly taken out by poachers; only to be declared the last Javan rhino in Vietnam three months later. It is quite obvious how a sharp increase in Black and White rhino poaching in South Africa followed Vietnam’s rhino extinction. The intensity and magnitude of rhino poaching in South Africa remains unstoppable. Conservationists fear; know: Africa’s rhino faces extinction, just like the Javan rhino. Unless we see drastic changes implemented. Implemented without delay.
Vietnam’s ban on rhino trading also follows turning point discussions between South Africa and Vietnam: South Africa cannot fight this battle without Asia, the biggest trade market’s support. With the 2013 rhino poaching figures climbing steadily, Vietnam’s directive is a boost for rhino conservation efforts. Species extinction, whether plant or animal, is a global crises. Authorities and conservationists globally are therefore urged to pull forces together in the battle against species extinction.
Photo credits: Some rights reserved by James Barker via freedigitalphotos.net