One Horn or Two? Ambassador Blake Engages Youth on Rhino Conservation

On February 19, two days after Secretary Kerry’s signing of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Conserving Wildlife and Combating Wildlife Trafficking, Ambassador Blake and Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan conducted their first joint public awareness at event at @america, highlighting the need to reduce demand for the illicit trade in wildlife. The Ambassador challenged the 200 attendees, half of whom were university students, to respect and protect Indonesia’s biodiversity. Emphasizing the importance the U.S. places on this issue, Ambassador Blake noted how since 2009, the United States has invested $16 million to combat wildlife trafficking through the ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network and Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) programs. U.S. conservation support to rhinos also includes a $750,000 grant to the Indonesian Rhino Foundation (YABI) to support the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and technical equipment that identified additional rhino populations in Sumatra and Kalimantan. In addition, last night’s program featured the head of the national park that houses the world’s last 50 Javan Rhinos and an NGO that received a Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) grant of $750,000 to protect the critically endangered Sumatran rhino. Indonesia is home to the two most endangered of five rhino species. The Javan Rhino is now believed to exist in a single, declining population in the Ujung Kulon National Park, numbering approximately 50 animals. The Sumatran Rhino probably now numbers fewer than 100 animals, mostly in Indonesia, with a declining population trend.

man giving presentation