iSimangaliso Wetland Park may have the largest World Rhino Day celebration this year. iSimangaliso Wetland Park launched a massive campaign entitled, “iSimangaliso My Rhino, Our Future”. The wide ranging program specifically targets youth in the protection of rhinos and other iconic and endangered species in iSimangaliso and South Africa. The vast breadth of the initiative includes such organizations as Department of Environmental Affairs, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Wildlands, Project Rhino KZN, Wildlife ACT, African Conservation Trust, Peace Parks Foundation and the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing.
The campaign began with students from over 75 schools creating rhino conservation artwork and uploading to Facebook and Instagram. The Kingsley Holgate Foundation Played an vital role in the Rhino Art project. My Rhino, Our Future continues the Rhino Walk. Students and educators will walk with conservation agencies, NGOs, traditional leadership, land claimant groups and local, provincial and national government. The march from school to school will consist of the length of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which is over 220km from Maphelane to Kosi Bay.
The goal of the march is to provide an opportunity for all these groups to show solidarity for conservation of rhinos and other iconic species. There is hope that the Rhino Walk will be the single, largest youth drive in the nation and share the message of conservation from school to school in some of the most remote parts of South Africa. There is potential to create a generation of wildlife ambassadors and leaders.
The highlight of the Rhino Walk includes a celebratory event on World Rhino Day, 22nd September in St Lucia. The spotlight will shine on youth commitment to conservation. Participants will come together and symbolically join hands as a united front in the fight against poaching and our combined efforts to tackle the greatest threat to this iconic population: human greed. My Rhino, Our Future is a noble campaign and the Rhino Walk will make quite a statement. Follow along here: