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Have you ever felt like there are so many rhino charities out there, that its hard to tell which ones are just “fly-by-night” organisations and which others really need your help?

© Chad Cocking
© Chad Cocking

The South African Department of Environmental Affairs is callling all organisations, businesses and individuals involved in fighting rhino poaching to register with the department by 30 September 2013. This initiative aims to rid the sector of illegitimate and ill-intended operations and ensure greater legitimacy of organisations and individuals involved in projects aimed at addressing the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa.

In light of the serious concern by government and members of the public about the increase in rhino poaching, a common goal is being shared by the South African government, private rhino owners, non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations, stakeholders and the public at large – to reduce the illegal killing of rhino and secure and grow rhino populations.

As a result, a number of private individuals and organisations have decided to get involved in the fight against rhino poaching. This has included raising public awareness; the collection of funds to fight the scourge of poaching within national, provincial and private game reserves in South Africa; and the development and implementation of projects relating to rhino conservation and safety and security.

The aim of the registration process is to ensure that funding for rhino interventions are channelled to the relevant, identified projects and to establish a register of rhino projects, including but not limited to fundraising, anti-poaching, safety and security, support and conservation initiatives. The aim is also to identify gaps that exist and priority areas that require additional assistance.

In an effort to coordinate the financing of anti-poaching initiatives, the department is planning to establish a National Rhino Fund. The National Rhino Fund will result in the consolidation of all funding requirements and ensure that funding is distributed successfully to state- and privately-owned rhino anti-poaching initiatives, including conservation, safety and security, skills development and research.

– Statement issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs

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