Third Asian Rhino Range Countries Meeting Concludes with Declaration Outlining Priorities for Protecting Rhinos

February 7, 2023

Washington, DC – The third Asian Rhino Countries Meeting concluded with the adoption of the Chitwan Declaration for Asian Rhino Conservation, 2023, setting the priorities for three rhino species in Asia, including addressing poaching and wildlife trafficking.

The meeting was held in Chitwan National Park, Nepal from February 3-5. Delegates attended from Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal as well as rhino experts from around the world, including the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). The attendees discussed a wide range of issues impacting the three rhino species native to Asia – greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran, committing to a goal of at least 3% growth in each population over the next four years.

“This meeting is a catalyst for sharing best practices and promoting collaboration on key issues impacting rhinos such as poaching, illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss and fragmentation of populations,” said Nina Fascione, IRF’s executive director.

Over the course of the three days of deliberations, the delegates set priorities for rhino conservation for the next four years, launching the Chitwan Declaration for Asian Rhinos Conservation, 2023. The document outlines the countries agreement to coordinate and collaborate in six areas: protection; population management; habitat management; research monitoring and information sharing.

The Asian Rhino range countries will also launch a special Rhino conservation program focusing on community-based initiatives in the vicinity of their Rhino bearing areas. The member countries also agreed that the critically endangered Sumatran Rhino needs time bound recovery measures in the range countries and appeal to global communities to complement the effort, technically and financially, to secure the species.

“IRF looks forward to working with the countries and our partners to ensure the survival of Asia’s iconic rhino species,” said Fascione. “Cooperation and commitment between all parties is essential for conservation success.