And in other embarrassing news, one of the biggest world conferences on illegal wildlife trade took place last week where dozens of countries signed a declaration to end wildlife crime and stop the illegal trade in ivory, rhino horn etc…and South Africa didn’t even bother to show up. The London Summit was attended by representatives of more than 40 countries and included the European Commission, numerous wildlife and conservation organisations, the heads of Interpol, even Prince Charles and David Cameron were there to discuss and recognise “the significant scale and detrimental economic, social and environmental consequences of the illegal trade in wildlife”. They all signed the joint declaration…well everyone except South Africa because our Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, was not present.
Now given the fact that the slaughter of SA’s rhino population is pretty much center stage when it comes to the fight against wildlife crimes, this is some awkward and embarrassing sh*t.
And why wasn’t South Africa at the conference to sign the declaration? Well nobody knows for sure yet, but apparently a source said that it clashed with President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.
Yes shake your head.
“In London last week, international media scrambled to cover the high-level and much anticipated international conference on illegal wildlife trade. However, there was one notable absentee, namely South Africa. The country’s absence at the conference and non-participation in the signing of the London Declaration has raised serious concerns regarding its commitment to ending the onslaught on its rhinos. And conservationists and South African taxpayers want answers.” [Daily Maverick]
And this from News24.
“South Africa is, arguably, the nation in the world that is currently experiencing the most determined, sophisticated and organized wildlife crime. The country lost over 1,000 rhinos to poachers last year. Officers in its national parks and reserves risk their lives daily to protect those animals and other endangered species”
“So, why oh why was South Africa not represented at the London conference? When I asked that question of someone attending the event I was told that the date clashed with President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.”[News24]