What’s best way to protect rhinos, other endangered wildlife species?

23Sep 2021
The Guardian
What’s best way to protect rhinos, other endangered wildlife species?

​​​​​​​THE world was at midweek – September 22 – marking World Rhino Day and, going by the media globally, it was a real and visible celebration not only in diplomatic corridors and at gatherings by but also on a truly popular level.

Although that was evidently still limited to conservation activists, it is hard to think of a species that has more enthusiasts for its survival than the rhino, previously matched to an extent by the giant panda’.

The United Nations views World Rhino Day as an occasion for stepping up public awareness on all five rhino species and the work being done to save them.

This comes to ten years since the day was celebrated internationally, with the International Rhino Foundation extolling the way rhinos make a difference to all those around the world who care about them.

The theme emphasized this year was Join us on Team Rhino as we ‘keep the five alive’. Nations where the bulky and relatively inoffensive species is found make strenuous efforts, this in the knowledge that rhinos are hugely vulnerable.

One feature of marking the Day is the annual State of the Rhino address by caregivers grouped around this foundation, a gesture meant in part to help young people spread awareness about rhinos.

This year’s address looked at population estimates and trends as well as key challenges relating to the conservation of the five surviving rhino species in Africa and Asia.

Individual members of black and white rhino are tracked all over in that when a rhino dies or is born anywhere in the world, it is a landmark event.

What is ironic about World Rhino Day in relation to the day preceding it, which was devoted to global peace, is that when young people learn to care for endangered animal species they start learning something about cherishing life as a whole.

But it is surprising noting how far people around the world, whether in government or in ordinary life, are far from actually valuing life.

Conservation efforts hinge on the need to avoid profits by finishing off the rhino and other wildlife species. So young people ought to be mobilised for conservation causes so as to help them grow the culture of showing devotion to those equally ‘endangered’ in life and thus stave off direct threats.

The democratic culture that World Peace Day cultivates is allied with conservation in that both zero in on the importance of life as a critical endowment that ought to be jealously protected.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan has just touched on this theme in her address to the New York climate talks preparatory conference – ahead of the UN General Assembly annual meet. It’s as inspiring as soothing seeing that we have reached a moment where we candidly talk of human society as being in peril as well.