Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa has handed over a third cheque to the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature’s rhino conservation work, continuing its support of the organisation’s ever expanding African Rhino Programme.
According to Konica Minolta South Africa MD, Alan Griffith, who presented the R327,000 cheque to Dr Joseph Okori, the head of WWF’s African Rhino Programme, the company will continue to support the work done by the programme into the long-term.
Dr Okori issued a challenge to other local corporates to match the dedication of Konica Minolta South Africa in its participation in rhino conservation efforts. “Through RhODIS, South Africa’s two-year old rhino DNA index system as created by the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, the work done to clamp down on rhino poaching syndicates has taken on an intercontinental form. South Africa, Kenya and Asia have joined forces to advocate for rhino crimes to be elevated from the blue to the red list at an Interpol level,” he said.
Dr Okori also stated that a number of Asian countries are looking at implementing the RhODIS system, which currently lists the DNA profiles of more than 5,000 rhinos. “Through the president of Indonesia, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Group has proposed naming 2012 the ‘international year of the rhino’, which will also feature the RhODIS system as part of the agenda in the motion. It is most gratifying to see that WWF-SA and its partners, along with the assistance of Konica Minolta South Africa, have managed to raise awareness of the plight of the rhino from the lowest levels in South Africa to the highest ranks of the IUCN.”
Pictured are (from l-r): Alan Griffith, MD of Konica Minolta South Africa, Dr Joseph Okori, head of WWF’s African Rhino Programme, and Puleng Mosholi, corporate relations officer: business development at WWF-SA.