South Africa and chad sign memorandum of understanding in field of biodiversity conservation and management
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, and the Minister of Environment and Fisheries of the Republic of Chad, Dr Ahmat Mbodou Mahamat, today (Sunday, 8 October 2017) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management in Pretoria.
The Ministers also signed a Memorandum which will allow for the translocation of six black rhino from South Africa to Chad as part of an initiative to reintroduce rhino to the country.
"We are taking another significant step forward towards realizing the initial pledge that originated four years ago by President Zuma to President Idris Deby of translocating and re-introducing black rhinoceros to the Republic of Chad. The fulfillment of this will lay a sound foundation for cooperation between our countries," said Minister Molewa during the meeting.
The discussions between the Ministers follow the meeting between Minister Molewa and the then Minister of Environment and Fisheries in Chad, Mr Brah Mahamat, on the sidelines of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Johannesburg in 2016. It was resolved at the meeting in 2016 that the two countries would develop two MoUs, one on Biodiversity Conservation and Management and another on Rhino Management.
It was also agreed that a team of experts from South Africa will visit Chad to assess the habitat, security and management suitability and associated ecological parameters as well as infrastructural readiness prior to the translocation of black rhinos to Zakouma National Park from South Africa, following which applicable logistical arrangements will also be put in place. This builds on a feasibility study of the proposed translocation undertaken by the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group in 2015. The Republic of Chad earlier signed an agreement with African Parks Network (APN) which allows APN to manage the country's national parks.
The talks on Sunday (today) had focussed on environment-related matters, including assistance in the fight against poaching, safeguarding of Lake Chad, Bioprospecting of Flora and training of youth in this area, the Management of Protected Areas as well as the management Alien and Invasive species and the development of aquaculture.
The meeting by Ministers Molewa and Mahamat on Sunday further cemented ties between the two counties that had been established during the liberation struggle.
Minister Molewa described the talks and the signing of the two Agreements as the deepening of the already good bilateral relations that exist between South Africa and Chad, with special focus on consolidation of economic cooperation and other areas of mutual interest.
The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ministers Molewa and Mahamat in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management is to facilitate cooperation in biodiversity conservation and management between the Parties.
The areas of cooperation include: promotion of sustainable utilisation of biodiversity as an integral part of conservation of species and ecosystems; implementation of CITES, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), Ramsar Convention, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and other relevant international, regional, sub-regional; and bilateral binding Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs); management of alien invasive species; compliance with domestic or policy frameworks and applicable Conventions; capacity building in all areas of cooperation in this MoU; technology use, transfer and development in the management, conservation and protection of biodiversity; and protected areas management.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation on the Reintroduction of Black Rhinoceros outlines broad areas of co-operation between the Governments Chad and South Africa focusing on the following areas:
(a) Establishing viable and secure populations of through the reintroduction of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in the Republic of Chad;
(b) sourcing sustainable financial resources to secure and manage such rhinoceros populations;
(c) building capacity and exchanging expertise in the management of rhinoceros in the field of rhinoceros security, veterinary matters, monitoring and research; and
(d) establishing bilateral custodianship arrangements for rhinoceros translocated between the Parties.
"The signing of the two agreements today, namely, on cooperation in Biodiversity Conservation and Management as well as on the Re-introduction of Black Rhinoceros in the Republic of Chad signifies that the relationship between our two countries on biodiversity and conservation is growing from strength to strength," said Minister Molewa.