I was intrigued to hear Adam Welz of WildAid speak out on a pivotal point in the rise of demand for rhino horn in Vietnam. He said a rumour started that General Giap, a general in the Vietnam People’s Army, owed his long life to the use of rhino horn. I think there is more to it.
Continue reading General Giap and the demand for rhino horn
When something strikes you as utterly irrational such as the East’s preoccupation with rhino horn it’s worth trying to understand it.
Continue reading What is it about rhino horn?
Will lifting the trade ban reduce poaching?
I love surprises. So when someone suggested that I research the subject of legalising the trade in rhino horn I leapt at it. I could see that the issue was ripe for some Edward de Bono-type thinking.
In Africa the black rhino is considered critically endangered and the white variety is listed as near threatened by the International Union of Nature Conservation. Black or white, population numbers are fragile. The primary cause of this situation is the continuous slaughter of rhinos by humans.
Some good out-of-the-box thinking could serve rhino well, I thought. Surely all it needs is some imagination and rational pragmatism.
The number one reason behind the killing is the demand for rhino horn in the East where it is used in muti of the Chinese kind. And so the fundamental question around the trade in rhino horn can be expanded to all geographical regions where traditional healers are faced with a dwindling supply of ingredients: at what point do we reconcile traditional values with modern reality? It is a question that requires deep introspection.
Continue reading Legalising Rhino Horn