MBOMBELA – The administrators of the fund said in a statement last week that technology would improve aerial support for the anti-poaching unit. Aircraft form a critical component of anti-poaching efforts.
The MyPlanet Rhino Fund, created in 2011 through a partnership between MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and local conservationist Braam Malherbe, has become one of the largest citizen-driven fund-raising initiatives for rhino conservation.
According to the fund administrators, more than 54 000 cardholders have raised R2,6 million for the MyPlanet Rhino Fund by using loyalty cards at participating partner stores in the past 12 months.
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cardholders simply make the MyPlanet Rhino Fund their beneficiary, and when swiping their cards, a contribution is made on their behalf.
Malherbe helped to establish the fund. “It is important that our supporter base grows and our fund-raising increases each year,” he said.
“Poaching cartels are sophisticated and well-resourced, and our conservation bodies must match this to be effective. We are grateful to our supporters and hope more South Africans who care about rhinos and the environment will come on board.”
“The scope of these rhino-conservation projects supported by South African consumers over the past year is incredible,” said Helene Brand, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet CSI manager. “When you have enough people caring about rhinos, you can buy a brand-new modern aircraft in just one year of fund-raising.”