Legal trade will alleviate poverty
At present, impoverished communities are turning to poaching as it is a lucrative prospect. For every poacher that gets arrested, there are a hundred more willing to take his place. People do this because they are alienated from the resource and their motivations exist at a base level of survival activities. The Black Market is structured to encourage perverse responses.
Communities should be taught and encouraged to breed rhinos for regular horn sales. Poaching incidents would drop dramatically as these communities would protect their livelihood with their lives. The financial returns would be greater and sustainable, in line with true conservation principles.
By aligning a legal, monitored and controlled market to conservation outcomes, both the economic and conservation benefits are recognized and the poachers will become the protectors and managers of rhinos.
Community-based natural resource management is a successful working concept in many third-world and developing countries. Rhino management would provide the catalyst and financial returns to allow this sector to flourish. It is time for South Africa to get on board.