The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, will brief the media on the occasion of World Wildlife Day at O R Tambo International Airport on 3 March 2018.
As a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), South Africa annually marks World Wildlife Day as a means to raise awareness particularly about wildlife crime, such as poaching and the smuggling of species, among the population. CITES is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
While the theme for World Wildlife Day 2018 is Big Cats: predators under threat, the Department of Environmental Affairs will be using the day to raise awareness about steps being taken to combat wildlife crime in general, and to educate the public on the actions they are able to take to assist in ensuring species are not threatened by the illegal trade / smuggling.
Through the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management Approach adopted by Cabinet in 2014 to address rhino poaching, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Environmental Management Inspectorate (Green Scorpions) is working closely with the SA Police Service, SARS customs and excise officials and security at points of entry and exit to ensure that the smuggling of wildlife and wildlife products is curtailed.
Source: Government of South Africa