#SaveOurRhino: SANPark's given R2.7m anti-poaching boost

2017-09-30 10:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - Survival equipment to the value of R2,7 million has been handed over by the SANParks Honorary Rangers (SHR) to SANParks during an event at Phalaborwa.

On Tuesday, 26 September Saint-Gobain Gyproc, the world-renowned manufacturer and supplier of environmentally friendly gypsum-based plasters, ceiling and interior walling systems, such as Gyproc RhinoBoard and RhinoLite, shouldered the lion’s share of the sponsorship and donated R1 million to SANParks anti-rhino poaching campaign. 

According to Paul Louw, Saint-Gobain Gyproc Product Manager (Value Added Board Systems), the additional R1 million donation represents only the first installment of at least three similar sponsorships over a three-year period.

Ken Maggs, Head Ranger of the Kruger National Park, gratefully accepting the donation of anti-poaching equipment, expressed his sincerest gratitude to Saint-Gobain Gyproc for sponsoring nature conservation and specifically the battle against rhino and elephant poaching in South Africa. 

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Rhino horn processed into undetectable products like jewellery - study

Accepting the donation, Maggs also expressed his appreciation for the generous efforts of the SANParks Honorary Rangers in their quest to assist SANParks as eco-volunteers. He emphasised the close and valued cooperation between the SHR and SANParks, highlighting the fact that this cooperation has existed for twenty-five years. 

The exceptional value of the sponsorship received from Saint-Gobain Gyproc was also emphasised by Phillip Strauss, SHR National Chairperson. He also complimented various SHR Regions for the tremendous effort they contributed, with special reference to SHR West Rand Region, which raised R100,000.00 in sponsorship funding.

He also thanked SHR Bushveld Region and SHR Lowveld Region for their untiring efforts in this regard and specifically John Turner, National Chairperson, SHR Conservation Services, for his sterling efforts.

Strauss says that the SHR is, in fact, the primary South African National Parks volunteer organisation and is a registered public benefit and non-profit organisation, committed to conservation in support of SANParks. 

"SHR functions according to an official agreement with SANParks and is formally endorsed and recognised by SANParks as the preferred channel for public support towards the South African National Parks," says Strauss.

(Picture: Supplied)

SEE: #WildlifeWednesday: Protect our White Rhino

The activities of all SHR are directed at safeguarding the future sustainability of South Africa’s national parks. The SHR render their service to nature conservation on a totally voluntary basis and do not request any financial support or remuneration for their services.

As is practice with all SHR projects - in particular, those that support activities such as this rhino anti-poaching initiative - all financial contributions received are utilised to promote conservation in South African National Parks with no public money or any donations and sponsorships used to run the administrative and organisational activities of the SHR.

SANParks Honorary Rangers serve on the front-line of SANParks’ battle against poachers - who are backed by international crime syndicates. 

According to SANParks, the anti-poaching equipment, which also includes nature and wildlife survival gear, will have an immense impact on easing the plight of the Rangers, as well as improving the living conditions of SANParks rhino anti-poaching Rangers whilst on duty in the bush. 

Paul Louw from Saint-Gobain Gyproc says the company has a very proud history of 85+ years serving the South African nation by manufacturing and supplying building material, thus enhancing comfort and safety for South Africans at home. 

"The sponsorship of rhino anti-poaching equipment as well as nature and wildlife survival gear to the SANParks Rangers, in fact, mirrors the established and practised Saint-Gobain vision of safeguarding the world for tomorrow," says Louw, expressing his appreciation to companies and members of the public that purchase genuine Gyproc branded RhinoBoard and RhinoLite products and thus participate in the rhino anti-poaching campaign, #GyprocLovesRhinos.

ALSO SEE: Would you pay extra at parks with rhinos?

(Picture: Supplied)

A percentage of sales on these products adds to the amount of the initial donation, and this gives everyone the opportunity to get involved. However, Louw stresses that the public must be aware that other manufacturers with similar sounding products do not participate in the Saint-Gobain Gyproc/SHR/SANParks rhino anti-poaching campaign. 

NOTE: Corporates and major businesses, as well as smaller enterprises and individuals, who would like to emulate Saint-Gobain Gyproc’s example and participate actively in the SHR/SANParks anti-rhino poaching campaign are welcome to contact Phillip Strauss, SHR National Chairperson at phillipstrauss2@gmail.com or contact the SHR Regional Chairperson in their area, or visit the site for further information. 

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