INNOVATION IN CONSERVATION
Helping Rhinos prides itself in applying an innovative and forward thinking approach to conservation and is delivering a positive change in the fortunes of the rhino.
We will continue to work with passionate and dedicated partners, both internationally and on the ground in the heart of rhino habitats. Our funding will support creative and proven initiatives to provide a sustainable future for rhino.
Critical to the long-term success of rhino conservation is our original approach which centres around three focus areas:
To lead an innovative approach to conservation that will ensure the long-term survival of rhino and other endangered wildlife in their natural habitat.
To create strategic local and global partnerships, sustainable operating models and international education programmes that deliver tangible results in rhino protection, habitat preservation, a reduction in the illegal wildlife trade and the empowerment of local communities.
To allow us to successfully sustain viable rhino populations in their natural habitat we will apply these three focus areas to seven key objectives – the Seven Saviours.
Adopting the Seven Saviours provides a platform to deliver both a growth in global rhino populations and a results driven change in global behaviours towards wildlife conservation.
Balancing the need to both protect land for wildlife and to sustain a growing human population is key to minimising human-wildlife conflict. By promoting to local communities the benefit of keeping land for wildlife and the possibility of generating a greater income than other potential land uses will ultimately put less pressure on rhino habitats.
An effective multi-pronged approach to anti-poaching initiatives is essential, including setting up dog patrol units, finding creative ways to recruit rangers (e.g. Black Mambas), ensuring on-the-job ranger training and a focus on their welfare, introducing community liaison officers, gathering intelligence and using brand new technology.
Wildlife conservancies / reserves must develop strong local community relations to provide tangible benefits and employment opportunities for its community members. Offering meaningful incentives to locals to protect wildlife will help to eliminate poaching.
Education resources must be provided for use in schools surrounding rhino habitats and programmes established to engage with the local adult populations. These programmes should cover all conservation issues: anti-poaching, habitat loss, welfare of domestic animals and management of water sources. Setting up international education programmes and implementing demand reduction campaigns in countries known for high usage of rhino horn is also an essential step.
Conservationists must work with research organisations to validate the effectiveness of rhino protection and demand reduction initiatives, use statistical analysis to confirm reported rhino population sizes and trends in population growth / decline and conduct scientific research into protecting critically endangered species eg. northern white rhino.
Governments play a key role in tackling illegal wildlife crime. It is vital to work with them to implement enforceable legislation with meaningful penalties, campaign for a legal system to stamp out bribery and corruption, lobby for greater transparency of actions taken to tackle illegal trade, encourage timely and regular publication of results achieved by initiatives to reduce illegal wildlife trade and lobby for the introduction of habitat protection initiatives.
The mind-set of how conservation is funded must change with a focus on creating sustainable funding models and reducing the reliance on traditional donor programmes. Helping Rhinos is committed to an 'investing in success' approach to allocation of funds to provide transparency to supporters on how the funds contribute to the overall conservation goals.