In memoriam – Edna Molewa

Updated on 17 March 2021

edna_molewa"Edna Molewa was a true champion for the environment, in her home country, throughout Africa and across the world. She was a great friend of CITES and was instrumental in delivering the hugely successful CITES CoP17 in 2016", David Morgan, Officer-in-Charge, CITES Secretariat

From the time Molewa assumed her role as Minister of Environmental Affairs, she worked to advance the integrated strategic management of rhinoceroses through a variety of conservation-minded efforts approved by the president's cabinet. Molewa believed that the fight against rhinoceros poaching and associated illicit trade in rhinoceros horn required a combination of interventions including community development, growing rhinoceros numbers, responsive legislation, law enforcement and demand management. Among the efforts she spearheaded were translocation programs, anti-poaching initiatives, sale of rhinoceroses to private properties, law enforcement collaboration at all levels, and efforts to comply to CITES regulations. Molewa's administration supported evidence-based decision making and research into matters associated with rhinoceros horn trade. She spearheaded programs for translocation of rhino from high-risk areas to low-risk areas both nationally and internationally in support of the rhino range expansion initiatives. Molewa was a staunch advocate of multilateralism, fairness, equity and justice in the treatment and respect of developing countries.