Only days after South Africa rejected a reckless scheme to legalize the international rhino horn trade, neighboring country Swaziland rushed out a similar plan that could push Africa’s last wild rhinos to extinction.
And it couldn’t come at a worse time: Illegal rhino killings in South Africa alone rose 7,000% in three years, fueled by skyrocketing international demand for rhino horn on the black market.
We must move quickly to mobilize strong international pressure on Swaziland’s King Mswati III to derail this destructive proposal — and show him that the whole world is watching.
Thanks in part to pressure from NRDC supporters, two months ago South Africa — home to 80% of the world’s rhinos — shelved a proposal to legalize the rhino horn trade after concluding that it could drive wild rhinos closer to extinction.
Unfortunately, it appears that Swaziland — a small monarchy in southern Africa — has picked up the mantle and is prepared to present its ill-advised plan at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) world treaty talks in September.
Swaziland’s risky scheme would overturn a 40-year-old international ban on the rhino horn trade, which would likely increase demand and fuel more senseless rhino killings.
We must do everything we can to make sure Swaziland never gets that chance.
Make no mistake: The world’s last rhinos are on the brink — and their fate is in our hands.
Please add your voice to mine to help save rhinos before they are lost forever.