SRT has supported capacity building related to the conservation of black rhino for many years, not only through training of its own trackers (many of whom have subsequently taken on responsibilities as guides with commercial tourism operators or as community game guards with conservancies), but also through periodic workshops and other extension activities in communities across the region. With the expansion of MET’s custodianship programme for black rhino, the demand for SRT’s involvement in training and capacity building for MET staff, conservancy staff and community game guards is expected to increase. Aircraft surveillance and consistent review of monitoring data are further essential components of SRT’s expanding role to support this initiative. SRT is also viewed regionally as having unique skills and knowledge related to conservation of desert-adapted black rhino and, subject to available resources, is being encouraged to consider mentorship or training programmes for students.
SRT Capacity Building Programme
Build the awareness and capacity of all stakeholders in the region related to the conservation of desert-adapted black rhino and responsible land use strategies and practices.
- Provide training for rhino game guards and trackers within SRT, at the community level through conservancies, for MET staff, and for guides working with commercial tourism operators.
- Provide capacity-building support through outreach and extension services so that conservancies and others can better fulfill their responsibilities as ‘custodians’ of black rhino, consistent with MET policies.
- Undertake ‘audits’ and evaluations in collaboration with MET to determine the success of conservancies and others in fulfilling their role as ‘custodians’ of black rhino.
- In cooperation with the Directors of Research & Evaluation and Field Patrolling & Monitoring, maintain a long-term database of information related to desert-adapted black rhino to serve as a foundation for analysis of population status, trends and dynamics.
Critical Success Factors include the following:
- Explore the potential costs and benefits of awareness raising and constituency building in schools, related to black rhino conservation.
- Explore ‘train-the-trainer’ models to alleviate the long-term demand on SRT for capacity building support.
- Explore opportunities for training exchanges for SRT trackers with game scouts in other countries such as Kenya.