Carry this bag to show your support!

September 2015

As part of their Good Business Journey, Woolworths is proud to support initiatives to conserve Africa’s endangered species. Through partnerships with Woolworths customers, the MyPlanet fundraising programme and conservation organisations, Woolworths is increasing awareness of threats to South Africa’s biodiversity, while actively supporting conservation projects in South Africa. Through the sale of each bag, Woolworths donates R10 to the Wildlife ACT Fund to support their rhino conservation work, which includes supporting the WWF – Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, developing conservation education programs in communities that live close to rhinos and tackling the demand for rhino horn in Asia.


Which project will the funds support?

The funds will be used to support Wildlife ACT Fund’s work to conserve Rhino on the ground in South Africa in collaboration with WWF. Their work addresses three focal areas to support rhino conservation in Africa:

To increase the geographical range and populations of black rhino;

To educate,increase awareness and develop conservation attitudes in rural communities and

To campaign to reduce the demand for rhino horn in Asia.

Specific projects include:

WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project

Wildlife ACT has worked alongside WWF on this project since the project’s inception in 2004.

The Wildlife ACT team assist with the capture, relocation and release of rhinos to new areas or ranges. High-tech monitoring equipment is also installed during relocation to facilitate monitoring and surveillance of the population after release.

rhino-camera-trap-montageImages of rhino captured by camera traps purchased, installed and managed by Wildlife ACT

Zululand Community Conservation Education Project

The Gumbi community live in northern KwaZulu Natal on tribal land in the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi area known as Somkhanda. Wildlife ACT  established and funds the Ubehejane Bush Camp on Somkhanda Game Reserve, where every grade six student from the 9 Gumbi community schools attends a 4-day conservation education camp. Using a ‘hands-on’ approach, the program emphasises child-centred discovery activities to teach students the basic concepts of conservation. Wildlife ACT Fund plans to expand the program to more primary schools, as funding becomes available. 

Rhino Horn Demand Reduction in Asia

Wildlife ACT works with WWF and TRAFFIC (Wildlife trade monitoring network) to activate their Chi Campaign in Viet Nam through the development of a unique business environment where concerned leaders are able to promote, identify and trade with partners who declare their allegiance to the non-use of illegal wildlife products. The Chi Campaign addresses the emotional motivators behind rhino horn consumption. It drives home the message that Viet Nam’s most impressive and charismatic men have created their own good fortune through their sheer drive, dedication and talent, and know that a piece of horn is no substitute for their natural talents.


The Crisis

The Rhino is one of world’s most iconic animals, with 5 species found between Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, they also possess a body part …a horn, that is currently worth more per weight than any other product on the globe.

With less than 5,000 Black & less than 20,000 White Rhino, in Africa the Black Rhino is classed as ‘critically endangered’ and the White Rhino as ‘near threatened’ 

In Asia: less than 200 Sumatran, less than 50 Javan & less than 3,000 Indian rhinos survive

South East Asia populations are shrinking rapidly and poaching in Southern Africa is driving the African populations towards the frightening numbers of the Asian populations at a rate of nearly 4 rhino per day.

Since 2008, poaching in South Africa has taken on exponential proportions, with an average year on year increase of over 62% in the last 5 years. Currently, poaching levels of the white rhino population exceed their natural growth.

With rhino horn fetching astronomical values on the black market, poaching rhino is a lucrative and well organised business, run by advanced criminal syndicates who see this product as a big profit maker with low risk for the middle man. Lured by relatively large sums of money and financial security for their future, poor rural community members are bribed and coerced into poaching rhino.

Currently, large amounts of government funding are being directed nationally in response to rhino poaching in national parks. However, rhinos owned privately make up a large proportion of the rhino population. As a result the increased anti poaching controls being implemented in the national parks, private rhino owners are in desperate need of assistance as syndicates target their farms instead .

The measures being taken to address the demand and various trafficking issues are also being met by NGO’s, who rely on financial assistance to continue their work.

The Causes

In 2007 officials in South Africa noted an increase in White Rhino trophy hunting permits being issued to Vietnamese nationals. It was established that crime syndicates were selling the trophy horns on the black market Viet Nam. By prohibiting the issue of any permits for rhino trophy hunting, there was a near immediate response to meet this growing demand being developed for rhino horn by poaching.

With the increase in disposable income in China and Viet Nam’s middle and upper classes, purchasing rhino horn has become a lot easier.  Research into the uses of rhino horn conducted by TRAFFIC in Viet Nam in 2013, provided useful answers:

TRAFFIC report found:

While their main reason for purchasing rhino horn is to reaffirm their social status, this is supported by an underlying, albeit misguided belief in horn’s health benefits. Users of rhino horn are generally health conscious and want to maintain or enhance a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their loved ones. Users believe rhino horn possesses properties that detoxify the body and can therefore cure anything from a hangover to serious illnesses. Consumers feel that having rhino horn at home ensures the well-being of their families.

In Viet Nam, many wildlife products are perceived as rare and therefore valuable but of all, rhino horn is probably the most desirable. The rarity of the product adds to its appeal since one must be part of an exclusive network of people who have access to suppliers.

RHINOS are thought to be unconquerable in nature, “the strongest animal there is”; the current poaching crisis and extinction of the Javan rhino in Viet Nam in 2010 illustrates this is no longer true. In some ways,

Who are the buyers of the future?

Even though only 5% of the people surveyed admitted to buying or consuming rhino horn, this percentage is expected to keep growing as intenders acquire the economic power to become consumers. Of those not yet using or buying rhino horn, 16%  “intend to do so”. With the increase of wealth in Viet Nam’s upper-middle class, this group will soon become rhino horn consumers.

 What is Wildlife ACT Fund?


Wildlife ACT Fund is a not-for-profit trust that focuses on the following key conservation actions:

• Sourcing and funding the right equipment needed to effectively monitor endangered and threatened species

• Delivering time and expertise to provide adequate management, capture, transport and reintroduction of animals to new areas

• Implementing anti-poaching measures and technology in the field

• Helping rural communities who live alongside protected wildlife areas to develop a love and respect for nature, providing them with reasons to protect it and advance economic
empowerment through conservation.

The team at the WLA & Stakeholders

•  Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

• Private landowners in KZN.

• Global Supplies and Sirtrack radio tracking suppliers

• Animal Trackem radio tracking suppliers.

• Chris Kelly, Wildlife ACT Fund, Trustee

• Dr. Simon Morgan, Wildlife ACT Fund, Trustee

• Dr. Dave Druce, Ecologist Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

How can I get involved in supporting the project?

By purchasing Woolworths ‘RHINO’ bag, you have already recognised the need to support rhino conservation.

By carrying your bag, you will be playing a vital role in spreading the word to help create awareness round the importance of rhino conservation in South Africa.

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 Links to follow the project or to continue your support

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