SADC Regional Programme for Rhino Conservation
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The Future 2005-2010
The Future 2005-2010

SADC Regional Rhino Conservation Strategy 2005-2010



During the latter part of the SADC RPRC, a strategy for the conservation of rhinos within the region during 2005-2010 was developed. This page summarises that strategy, but the complete document is available – follow the link at the bottom of this page.

The Goal of this strategy is that southern African rhinos are maintained as flagship species for biodiversity conservation and wildlife-based economic development, within viable and well distributed populations.

The Objective of this strategy is that, by 2010, the regional populations of each rhino subspecies have increased by 25% above their numbers during 2005 and show significantly wider distribution within the region, as well as significantly greater economic relevance to the people of the region.


The Guiding Principles for the implementation of this strategy are:

·       SADC commitments and instruments, particularly the:

1.       SADC Treaty and Declaration (Chapter 3, Article 5);

2.       SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement (and the Implementation Plan for this Protocol); and

3.       SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

·       Sustainable use

Within the SADC region, rhinos are respected as charismatic and ecologically important elements of global biodiversity, justifying the attachment of high moral importance to their conservation. In addition, the legitimate commercial value of rhinos must be maximised within the region. This can be achieved through their sustainable use, both non-consumptively (through ecotourism) and consumptively (through trade in live animals and limited safari hunting).

·       International support

Opportunities for commercial wildlife ventures do not exist, to an extent sufficient to meet all rhino conservation costs, within the full range of rhino conservation situations within the region. Therefore, international support for rhino conservation remains crucial. While retaining their right to make management decisions that reflect their national aspirations as well as the regional policy consensus, the SADC range states recognise the fact that rhinos are global assets.

·       Principles of conservation biology

Notwithstanding the need to ensure a return of economic benefits to the people who conserve rhinos, biological management considerations must be paramount in decisions that pertain to rhino re-distributions, utilisation options, etc. In particular, every introduction process should follow “best practice” as recommended by the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group.


The Outputs that can be expected from this strategy and the Activities that should be conducted in order to achieve each output are:

·       Output 1: Mechanisms maintained and enhanced for regional collaboration in rhino conservation.

Activity 1.1: Streamlining regional co-ordination mechanisms within the SADC Regional Programme for Rhino Conservation, under the auspices of the SADC Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR).

Activity 1.2: Advising on and facilitating national co-ordination mechanisms.

Activity 1.3: Networking existing and new rhino conservation projects.

Activity 1.4: Linking the Regional Programme for Rhino Conservation with other regional conservation and development initiatives.

·       Output 2: Innovative approaches to rhino conservation identified and encouraged within the region.

Activity 2.1: Identifying and encouraging opportunities for commercial and community-based wildlife production systems that sustainably integrate rhinos, to the economic benefit of the stakeholders in those systems.

Activity 2.2: Identifying and encouraging innovative mechanisms for the transfer of international support to rhino conservation (and to biodiversity conservation in general), according to criteria and conditions that induce local stakeholders to maximise rhino population growth.

Activity 2.3: Promoting co-management arrangements that constitute “win-win” partnerships between different stakeholders in rhino conservation.

·       Output 3: Biological management of rhinos facilitated at a regional level.

Activity 3.1: Supporting viable projects for rhino re-introduction, or for the consolidation of relict populations.

Activity 3.2: Mobilising key elements of technical support for rhino monitoring and management.

Activity 3.3: Facilitating standardised reporting on the status of rhino populations and ensuring professional review of such information, to guide management decisions.

·       Output 4: Capacity for rhino conservation retained and enhanced.

Activity 4.1: Promoting the roles of individuals who have informally-acquired bushcraft skills (including tracking abilities) for rhino conservation.

Activity 4.2: Networking professionals in spheres of rhino conservation (in addition to biological management).

Activity 4.3: Maintaining, updating, expanding and disseminating the range of tools for rhino conservation that have been developed within the SADC RPRC.

·       Output 5: Awareness of rhino conservation increased within the region.

Activity 5.1: Promoting awareness of rhino conservation at a local community level.

Activity 5.2: Undertaking awareness programmes at national and regional level.


Strategy for 2005-2010                                                   pdf_80