SRT RECEIVES A GRANT OF € 200,000 FROM THE BIOPAMA PROGRAMME
- With the support of the European Union and The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific states -
SRT has long recognized the importance of conservation as a rural and sustainable development tool. To this end we have included support to communal conservancies as a core pillar in our strategic plan, in line with the national CBNRM policy. Rhino tourism earned around US$250,000 for communal conservancies in 2017. Over the years we have developed a rhino trekking viewing protocol which is grounded on conservation principles of low disturbance and guest interaction with locally employed rhino trackers. We have helped to facilitate three contracts between communal conservancies and private sector partners and have worked to support these relationships to ensure that maximum income reaches conservancies. This income provides a sustainable income based on conservation principles and has helped to diversify the livelihoods of a large number of community members who are directly and indirectly engaged in conservation and tourism.
At a local and more practical level, support from this project will ensure that rhino tourism and the rhino ranger program remain sustainable. The rhino ranger programme has been noted as one of the most innovative community based rhino conservation initiatives in Africa: https://www.peoplenotpoaching.org/conservancy-rhino-ranger-incentive-program. We believe that the approach of incentivising local participation in conservation has contributed significantly to the reduction of poaching in the landscape. In terms of climate change adaptation, we believe that income from rhino monitoring has provided a sustainable form of alternative livelihood income for the ~50 community-based rhino rangers currently working in the region. These rangers form part of the beneficiaries of the proposed project.
Through the support of the BIOPAMA project SRT will purchase SMART capable devices and train staff and rhino rangers to use them during field patrols. The devices are a key component to ensuring accurate rhino monitoring data which is captured in the longest running black rhino database around the globe.
We will further focus on training for SRT trackers and rhino rangers in advanced rhino monitoring and securing the scene of crime if they come across a deceased rhino to ensure forensic evidence is secured for the investigation team.
Funds will also be utilized to purchase a much needed radio communication system and complete work on field camps used by the monitoring teams to safely overnight in the field during their 21 day patrol cycles.
We will develop a conservancy rhino conservation recognition scheme which promotes national and international recognition for conservancies directly contributing to the rhino ranger programme. A similar recognition scheme will be introduced for private sector tourism operators who are conducting rhino tracking.
Through BIOPAMA’s support we will continue hosting conservancy workshops on the rhino ranger programme to actively promote ways to improve the sustainability of the program. Other activities include assistance in drafting of a rhino tourism policy, and a rhino ranger programme strategic plan, focused on financial sustainability.
The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities. It is an initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF), jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). Building on the first five years of activities financed by the 10th EDF (2012-2017), BIOPAMA’s second phase provides tools for data and information management, services for improving the knowledge and capacity for protected area planning and decision making, and funding opportunities for specific site-based actions. www.biopama.org
DISCLAIMER: This Website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the BIOPAMA Programme. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Save the Rhino Trust and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union nor of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
This project is supported by @EuropeAid and @PressACP through #BIOPAMA. For more info visit @IUCN_PA.
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