When it comes to taking care of the natural environment, there should be no debate, Namibians are one of the enthusiasts, they are conservationists at heart and never cease to care for their natural environment which includes some of the most iconic species such as the rhino.
With the World Rhino Day coming up on the 22 of September, the Namibia Nature Foundation, Save the Rhino Trust (SRT), Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), government, Traditional Authorities, Conservancies and members of the public, came together to celebrate this special day and create awareness around rhino conservation.
For the past few years, Namibians have celebrated this day in person but this year, there has been an adjustment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have decided to be more creative and went virtual by using social media to connect with people and honor one of the most iconic and yet critically endangered species in the world.
The NGOs have initiated the ‘World Rhino Day Virtual Campaign’ with the official hashtags #WorldRhinoDay2020, #WorldRhinoDayNamibia2020, #ArtWorldRhinoDay20, #PhotographyWorldRhinoDay20, #DanceWorldRhinoDay20 and #SportsWorldRhinoDay20, which are aimed at sending positive rhino-related messaging to the world and communities in and surrounding critical rhino rangeland. The idea is to build a foundation of community involvement, community pride and sustainable development around rhino conservation and to foster the notion of wildlife crime as being counterproductive and anti-social behaviour.
Namibians and people around the world are participating in a competition to show their rhino pride and talent. Participants can enter the competition by taking part in one of the three categories; contributing an original Rhino Art piece, showing off a Sports Skill or a doing a Dance or Sing-along to one of the special Rhino tunes created by our own Namibian musicians. Entering is easy with three simple steps: Perform, Record and Submit. For art, simply create something original and creative that shows how much you care about rhinos and then take a photo of your masterpiece. For the Sports Skill and Dance, download the Rhino Music Clips here, listen to the clips and choose the one you like, then have someone film your performance with the song playing. All entries can be send on Whatsapp to +264 81 639 0153 or email@example.com from 8am on Monday September 7th through 5pm Monday September 21st.
Entries will be posted each day on the Love Namibia, Love Nature facebook page for everyone to see and enjoy. There will be weekly drawings for each category and a grand prize drawing on the 22nd September for the most liked entries in each category to grab a share of over $17,000 in prizes. So, make sure to have your friends and family cheer you on!
“The general public’s support is essential if we are to save the rhino and by making sure that wildlife benefits everyone, we want the public to get their creative juices flowing as a token of appreciation and a way to honor one of our most protected wildlife- the rhinoceros, “ said Clemens Naomab, Regional project coordinator for NNF.
This will go a long way in inspiring people especially those that share their environment with the rhinos to protect wildlife, feel a sense of ownership for their natural heritage and be able argue against the myth that rhino horn contains curative properties.
World Rhino Day highlights efforts to debunk the myths and diminish the demand for rhino horn. Don’t let COVID keep us from celebrating our incredible rhino story. We look forward to seeing your Rhino Pride!