Pretoria — South African and Mozambique will next week sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, which will help in the fight against rhino poaching.
The MoU, which will be signed by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, and the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, Carvalho Muária, in Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, follows extensive negotiations, and less than a year since their last bilateral meeting.
It was acknowledged at the June 2013 meeting that a government-to-government MoU on Cooperation in the field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management was required to assist in addressing wildlife crimes, including rhino poaching.
"Mozambique is regarded as a priority country for South Africa within the SADC region and South Africa recognises the need for engaging with Mozambique on wildlife management.
"This is particularly with respect to addressing the scourge of rhino poaching within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), as escalating incidences of poaching have become a major challenge within the GLTP to rhino populations," spokesperson Albi Modise said.
The agreement comes as the number of rhino poached in South Africa since the start of 2014 increased to 277. The number of alleged poachers arrested since 1 January 2014, has risen to 86.
A total of 166 rhino have been poached in the Kruger National Park, 34 in Limpopo, 32 in North West, and 24 in KwaZulu-Natal.