When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

South Africa May Legalize Rhino Horn Trade

South Africa is facing its seventh consecutive yearly increase in rhino poaching and an unusual proposal for tacking the issue has come to light: legalizing the rhino horn trade.

A rhino's horn is made of keratin — the same material in our hair and nails — and is highly valuable in Asia, purportedly for its medicinal properties.

"We've tried everything else," says Pelham Jones, now head of the Private Rhino Owners Association, speaking about legalizing the trade. "From more guns to more boots to more cameras to more surveillance systems — but the poachers are always one step ahead of us."

Legalization might also send mixed messages to end-users of the horns, whose beliefs and behaviors conservationists are trying to change.

Buying and selling of the animal's horn was banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1977, but domestic trade has continued in South Africa for decades, says the AFP. A sudden increase in poaching was seen in 2008, and the following year the South African government issued an embargo on domestic trade.

According to Le Monde, 2014 will be the most deadly year for the species — official figures show that between Jan. 1 and Nov. 1, 979 animals had been poached, compared to 1,004 for the entirety of 2013. If the pace continues in this country, home to 82% of the world's rhino population, in just a few years the mortality rate will surpass the birth rate.

While poachers are arrested and convicted, added the French daily, it is not always easy to prove their guilt in court. The previous conviction was in July, when a man was found guilty of killing three rhinos at Kruger National Park and sentenced to 77 years in prison.

Read more from the AFP here.

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

How India’s Women Are Fighting Air Pollution — And The Patriarchy

India is one of the world's worst countries for air pollution, with women more likely to be affected by the problem than men. Now, experts and activists are fighting to reframe pollution as a gendered health crisis.

A woman walking through dense fog in New Delhi

*Saumya Kalia

MUMBAI In New Delhi, a city that has topped urban air-pollution charts in recent years, Shakuntala describes a discomfort that has become too familiar. Surrounded by bricks and austere buildings, she tells an interviewer: "The eyes burn and it becomes difficult to breathe". She is referring to the noxious fumes she routinely breathes as a construction worker.

Like Shakuntala, women’s experiences of polluted air fill every corner of their lives – inside homes, in parks and markets, on the way to work. Ambient air in most districts in India has never been worse than it is today. As many as 1.67 million people in the country die prematurely due to polluted air. It is India’s second largest health risk after malnutrition.

This risk of exposure to air pollution is compounded for women. Their experiences of toxic air are more frequent and often more hazardous. Yet “policies around air quality have not yet adequately taken into account gender or other factors that might influence people’s health,” Pallavi Pant, a senior scientist at the Health Effects Institute, a nonprofit in the U.S., told The Wire Science.

“It’s unacceptable that the biggest burden [rests on] those who can least bear it,” Sherebanu Frosh, an activist, added. People like her are building a unique resistance within India.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ