December 31st, 2022
The continent of Africa is afflicted by the most severe poaching problem in the world, accounting for about 50% of the world’s poaching. An estimated 15,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory and every 8 hours a rhino is hunted and gunned down for its horns. The cruel wholesale slaughter of rhino and elephant has put them firmly on the path to extinction, with an estimate of only 400,000 elephants remaining. The slaughter of elephants and rhino is fueled by the illegal, multi-billion-dollar, trade of ivory and rhino horn on the black market. The average price for 1 kilogram of ivory has reached around $65,000 making it one of the most expensive substances on earth.
VETPAW (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife) is a charity founded by former U.S marine Ryan Tate. VETPAW’s mission is to help end the African poaching and conserve endangered species. Ryan and his team of highly skilled post 9/11 US veterans are doing this in several ways.
VETPAW provides protection for the park rangers and local law enforcement officers by operating on the ground to stop poachers before they act. The invaluable skills learnt in the US military are being passed down to local rangers free of charge to help them work better, faster, and smarter, giving them the much-needed edge in the battle against poaching. VETPAW are also committed to educating the local people about the benefits of a thriving wildlife community, they do this through a number of practical and lesson-based activities. However, despite the unrivaled might and staunch determination that defines VETPAW, elephant and rhino numbers are still rapidly decreasing and more needs to be done if these wonderful creatures are to be saved.
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In an important new initiative VETPAW has partnered with the software company Unbox, pioneers in closed loop systems. Unbox plans to build an incentive mechanism with the aim of increasing VETPAW’s exposure and local impact which will in turn increases donations and societal willingness to effect change.
Ucoins, the native token of Unbox’s closed loop system, will be awarded to individuals who support VETPAW’s mission. Ucoins that can be spent at positive impact merchants, for example, community shop, sustainable goods, safari experiences, local animal conservation parks, etc. This enables inclusive rewards, whether you are a visitor, a local, or a supporter from afar.
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Ryan Tate, Founder of VETPAW concludes: “Community is an integral part of what we do and any help to expand our community is most welcome here at VETPAW. Unbox has provided us with an effective solution to participation and an interactive infrastructure that gives our community a digital robustness.”
Marc FERLET, Head of Unbox USA concludes: “This is a system of community solidarity that we believe is going to directly contribute to help end the poaching crisis in Africa.
Development of this project is set to begin in South Africa with the aim of making wildlife support more accessible and more affordable. With the help of Unbox’s technology and the elite team of veterans at VETPAW, individuals can easily contribute to saving the magnificent elephants and rhino from extinction and be rewarded for doing so.”