“Tourists bring more money than poachers” – that's the message to the Namibian population by the organization “Save the Rhino Trust.“ And it seems to be working as the region's threatened black rhino population recovers.
Project goal: Protecting the black rhino in Namibia Implementation: Guided tours, security patrols, field research, training gamekeepers Project size: 25,000 square kilometers to be monitored
In the 1980s, Namibia's black rhino population was on the brink of extinction. Rampant poaching had decimated rhino numbers with just a few dozen animals remaining. The highly lucrative illegal trade in rhino horn attracted large gangs of smugglers and poachers. But today, Namibia has turned a page with the country now a model for successful rhino conservation. As opposed to South Africa, where more than 950 rhinos were killed in 2013, the pachyderms population is recovering on a more secure basis in Namibia. The country's black rhinos draw tourists and conservationists from all over the world. That's thanks to the work done by the organization “Save the Rhino Trust.” It's set up a patrol to combat poaching. It also organizes guided tours for tourists through a vast area in the northern part of the Namib desert. The non-governmental organization shows that tourism can be a rewarding source of income and is certainly more sustainable than the trade in rhino horn.
Update: In 2014 poaching rose again with 16 rhinos killed in Namibia. The Rhino Trust attributes the increase, at least in part, to an insufficient number of park rangers protecting the animals. The organisation says it is looking at enlisting new partners to address the problem.