A date and venue of a conference discussing Rhino poaching in South Africa has been announced.

Now Environmental Affairs Minister, Edna Molewa, asks those who will come to use the conference wisely and “engage in robust discussions” in order to come up with plans on how best to save the lives of the animals.

Molewa’s department announced the week long dates of 24 September to 5 October 2016 as the dates of the 17th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The conference is simply called CoP17 Cites and will look at ways of saving the lives of animals that are on or near extinction.

This is an international conference and will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre starting from the Saturday morning of next week.

It is the 17th time such a conference is held by global leaders since it was launched in 1975 and this time it comes to South Africa, having held the 16th edition in Thailand – between 3 and 14 March 2013.

The department said: “There has been a number of arrests of alleged poachers this year. Since 1 January this year there have been 414 arrests made, of which 177 were in the Kruger National Park and the others across the country.

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“A new strategy to combat this crime called National Integrated Strategy To Combat Wildlife Crime will replace the current Integrated Management approach and this is in the final process of being authorised,” it said.

Journalists can register to attend the conference at the Sandton Convention Centre from 20 September 2016.

(edited by MLM)

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