The rhino poaching crisis affecting South Africa and other African and Asian rhino range states is now recognised as a worldwide wildlife emergency. The brutal killing of rhinos – particularly in South Africa – is being driven by global criminal syndicates, many with links to international terrorism and narcotics cartels.
Wildlife crime has exploded in recent years to meet the increasing demand for rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger products, particularly in Asia.
Equally as important as fighting the front-line battles, improving anti-poaching operations and global law enforcement efforts to counter wildlife crime, is the need for a critical mass of support that will drive informed global awareness of the value of rhinos, not just economically but also their value to Africa’s and Asia’s heritage and biodiversity in the decades to come.
This is taking shape and significantly: tens of thousands of young people in South Africa, other African states and internationally are calling for rhino poaching to be stopped.
The World Youth Rhino Summit was a focused gathering of over 140 young conservation leaders aged 15-17 years from South Africa, other African countries affected by rhino poaching, consumer countries in Asia, and other representative counties. Delegates, educators, and conservation leaders, will be brought together at the symbolic iMfolozi Game Reserve to directly address the current rhino poaching crisis and develop resolutions needed to stop burgeoning wildlife crime. The World Youth Rhino Summit’s goal is to engage future leaders in rhino/wildlife conservation & protection strategies and empower delegates to become local, national and international Ambassadors for wildlife & conservation and influence policy at local, state, national and international levels.