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Molewa calls for rural communities’ participation in conservation

Edna Molewa says rural communities must be compensated for the damage they sustained from wildlife.

FILE: Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says rural communities housing endangered wildlife must be considered in deliberations on how to save the species.

Molewa is currently hosting the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora currently underway in Sandton.

Molewa says, in a statement, rural communities must be compensated for the damage they sustained from wildlife.

The government's Biodiversity Economy Strategy ensures that rural communities' development takes place in communities that have benefited from its land reform process, and opportunities related to legal international trade will form part of this programme.

She says rural communities are the first line of defence for the animals in South Africa's conservation areas and they have a critical role to play, not just in protecting wildlife assets, but in growing the wildlife economy to make it more profitable.