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For Immediate Release
March 22, 2010

Contacts:

Adam M. Roberts
SSN Press Officer
974-530-8006 (Doha)
1-202-445-3572 (global)

SPOTLIGHT ON ILLEGAL RHINO HORN TRADE

DOHA—Kenya succeeded today in its efforts to improve international protection for rhinos from illegal trade. Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meeting in Doha, Qatar, strengthened their resolve to address the rhino horn trade and its impact on rhino populations.

Kenya succeeded today in its efforts to improve international protection for rhinos from illegal trade. Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meeting in Doha, Qatar, strengthened their resolve to address the rhino horn trade and its impact on rhino populations.

Mark Jones of Care for the Wild International, a Species Survival Network member organization, worked with Kenya to advance this issue. “Rhino populations are severely threatened by increasing demand for rhino horn, principally in Asia,” Jones noted. “The adoption of Kenya’s proposal at CITES should tighten up the monitoring, reporting, and enforcement of measures to protect rhinos. Strong implementation of these efforts is vital if we are to avoid further devastation of rhino populations.”

Reports have surfaced recently in the global press about a rise in rhino poaching, particularly in South Africa and Zimbabwe, to supply rhino horn to markets in Southeast and East Asia. CITES Parties have discovered that reporting requirements on poaching incidents, rhino horn seizures and status of horn stockpiles are not being met by some range and consumer states. As a result of Kenya’s efforts in Doha, additional attention will be paid to the Parties involved in the trade.

The revised CITES resolution on conservation of rhinos emphasises the responsibility of countries where the illegal transit and consumption of rhino horn takes place to reduce demand and increase enforcement, and calls for enhanced regional and international cooperation between enforcement agencies. It comes on the back of the announcement last week that an Ivory and Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force is to be established, involving the CITES Secretariat, international and regional enforcement agencies including INTERPOL, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Customs Organization, and those countries in Africa and Asia that are currently most affected by ivory and rhino smuggling.


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