Funding for nature conservation can never be sufficient, says South African National Parks (SANParks) CEO Fundisile Mketeni.
"There is never enough [funding], there is always something happening in the environment," Mketeni told a group of business leaders hosted by SANParks at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park (KNP) this weekend.
The business executives were flown out of Johannesburg's concrete jungle to the KNP on Thursday, and were given an opportunity to explore the park and get first hand knowledge of the daily problems SANParks rangers are exposed to, and to see where they could contribute to making a difference.
Mketeni said the business people invited on the excursion were those that SANParks had determined to be possibly in line with the SANParks brand.
Among other things, the poaching crisis needed to be tackled from outside the park, as most poachers were from surrounding areas and countries struggling financially, which made them "easy targets" to be lured into poaching by the syndicate kingpins, he said.
The need for education on the importance of nature conservation and preserving the environment was important, and the purpose of the event was for business leaders to get a clear understanding of what SANParks was doing and the problems they faced, Mketeni said.
Among other things, the various private sector company heads visited the K9 unit, where dogs assists rangers to track poachers, and witnessed a rhino being dehorned for research purposes.