WATCH: Dvůr Králové rhino horn burning ceremony

Stringent action is needed urgently, as to say we are now “at the 11 hour to save the rhinos” is not an over-estimation. 

Already we have lost at least 769 rhinos so far this year in South Africa, and there is no indication that the rhino poaching crisis is coming under control. It is very encouraging to see the broad, perhaps unique range of partners coming together here. 

Stakeholders who do not always agree in their conservation approaches, united today to convey that strong message of commitment by public burning of stockpiles.

RELATED: Czech and Slovak Republic spark new global initiative with rhino horn burning ceremony

Doubtless, there is no alternative than to destroy such stockpiles at a time of unprecedented poaching and trafficking levels in all sorts of endangered species.

This dirty business is controlled by criminal syndicates and driven by large profit margins, with rhino horn being one of the highest prized wildlife products, reaching prices up to € 50.000 per kilo, higher than Gold (~ 30k€) or even Cocaine (~ 35k€).

That all underscores the importance of encouraging this initiative, Burn Horns, Save rhinos, sparking from Central-Europe on the eve of the World Rhino Day. And it is reason enough for me to participate and represent IFAW as partner at the ceremony.

If more stakeholders will join and follow the Czech and Slovak examples, we may be able to reduce demand, eradicate trade incentives, decrease poaching and drive progress to make wildlife conservation and wildlife well-being a guiding theme for the 21st century.

--PP

Check out the slideshow of images from the Burn Horn, Save Rhino event here:

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
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Faye Cuevas, Esq.
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Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
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Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
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Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
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Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
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Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
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Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
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Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
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