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10. December 2012

South Africa and Vietnam Sign Deal to Save Rhino

The governments of South Africa and Vietnam signed a landmark agreement that authorities hope will help quash the alarming scourge of rhino poaching that has been seen in the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. (…) the memorandum of understanding, signed by South Africa's Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and her Vietnamese counterpart Cao Duc Phat, could signal the broadest step yet by the two governments to pull the plug on illegal rhino horn dealings. 

The bilateral agreement sealed today lists seven areas of cooperation in biodiversity and is not only limited to the issue of rhino poaching. But judging by the media interest the poaching crisis has generated and what has been coming out of Molewa's department, the fight to save the horn will be central to the agreement. South Africa wants Vietnamese government officials at the highest level to commit to the fight by imposing strict punishments for poachers. "Having signed this memorandum of understanding with Vietnam today, we hope that the two countries will be able to tighten the regulatory framework so that any potential transit that can happen or could happen is actually curbed," Molewa said.

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