More than 400 community members joined the march to celebrate World Rhino Day. The march was led by Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Bernadette Jagger, and U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson (center), flanked by Save the Rhino Trust CEO Simpson Urikhob (left) and USAID Country Representative Dr. Randy Kolstad (right).

In celebration of World Rhino Day, United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson joined the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to call for the protection of Namibia’s rhinoceros’ population. 

The event was hosted by the Namibia Nature Foundation and Save the Rhino Trust at Khorixas, Kunene Region to mark Rhino Day which falls on September 22.

“Together, we must save Namibia’s rhinos from illegal poaching. Our hard work is paying off.” said Johnson.

  “Zero rhinos have been poached over the last two years in the north-western communal areas of Kunene,” she added.  

Johnson congratulated the environment ministry, the WWF, the Governor of Kunene Region Marius Sheya, and their many partners for the achievement. 

She specifically thanked the Kunene community members who have served as game guards for more than 15 years, calling their commitment to the rhino an example of outstanding conservation leadership.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provides funding to the WWF through the Combating Wildlife Crime Project, which protects the black rhino population in northwest Namibia. 

The project is a five-year initiative, begun in 2017, and partners with both the Namibian government and local communities.

Johnson described in her remarks several rhino conservation projects in the Kunene Region sponsored by the U.S. government, including through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.

“We have shown that Namibia’s rhinos can be saved through a collective effort by our governments, communities, and partners in conservation.”

She added: “On World Rhino Day, I want to reaffirm to all Namibians the United States’ commitment to your precious wildlife.”

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