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Duke of Cambridge unveils declaration to end illegal wildlife trade

The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a new declaration to help combat the illegal wildlife trade at a meeting of global financial institutions ahead of the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference this week in London.

The so-called Mansion House Declaration, a part of United for Wildlife’s Financial Taskforce, contains “commitments to sharing resources and intelligence in a bid to disrupt the illegal income generated by poached animal products such as elephant tusks, rhino horn and pangolin scales,” according to the Royal Family’s official website.

Specifically, The Mansion House Declaration includes the following six commitments:

  1. Increasing awareness of how the financial industry can combat the illegal wildlife trade

  2. Providing training to identify and investigate suspicious activity

  3. Proving intelligence to regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies

  4. Reviewing intelligence alerts received through the Taskforce and taking appropriate actions

  5. Considering additional actions such as policy amendments

  6. Supporting and promoting the work of the Taskforce and external supporting mechanisms

The global financial institutions agreed to sign, and declare that they “will not knowingly facilitate or tolerate financial flows that are derived from IWT and associated corruption.”

In total, representatives from 30 global banks and financial organisations will take part in the Taskforce in its initial stages. According to the Royal Family website, this includes companies like Standard Chartered, HSBC, RBS, Bank of America, and agencies or regulatory bodies like TRAFFIC and RUSI.

The Taskforce is chaired by Lord Hague of Richmond, who said that, “The illegal wildlife trade has grown substantially in recent years, despite considerable international efforts, and poaching rates for many species are still increasing to feed the growing criminal demand.

“It will take a truly global approach, with multiple organisations and sectors working together, to eradicate this barbaric trade, and so I am delighted that the financial sector is now committing its much-needed support to do so.”

The Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference takes place in London from 11-12 October.

 

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