As the world marked the 2017 World Rhino Day on Friday, September 22, obsevers hoped that a landmark diplomatic achievement made about a year ago would be further built upon.
At the 71st Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 71) in September 2016, world leaders agreed on a resolution at the close of the global confab to save the animals.
A couple of days prior to Friday, the 193 Member States of the UN at the UNGA 72 in New York announced strengthening their commitment to address illicit wildlife trafficking, which is decimating rhino populations worldwide.
Observers believe that, in the light of this development, 2017 could effectively kickstart the much-needed political support worldwide which is considered essential to the survival of rhinos.
“As we remain in the midst of a global poaching crisis, this signals the growing and crucial political will to enhance national legislation and enforcement measures and counter corruption, alongside measures to support sustainable livelihoods and undertake targeted demand reduction efforts,” disclosed the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Every year since 2010 when it was first announced by WWF South Africa, World Rhino Day has provided a rallying point for the global rhino conservation community to unite around all five species of rhino: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan.
World Rhino Day, it was gathered, provides a symbolic focus of these commitments as well as an opportunity to reflect on the continued challenges facing rhinos and the recent successes in rhino conservation.
The special day provides the opportunity for cause-related organisations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways.