The Duke of Cambridge delivered his speech on the illegal ivory trade, broadcast on state television in China, ahead of the arrival in the UK of the Chinese president on Monday evening.
William raised the issue with the President of China when they met in Beijing earlier this year.
The speech was filmed in front of a studio style audience of students and guests at the Maughan Library at King’s College London prior to the speech being aired on the Chinese state TV channel CCTV1.
Kensington Palace commented: “The Duke is grateful to have this opportunity to explain how people around the world must work together to save some of the planet’s most critically endangered species before they are lost forever He considers this issue an important test for his generation’s ability to solve the much more complex global challenges it will face in the decades to come.”
William met with Sir David Attenborough, Yao Ming, and Bear Grylls, who are also involved in the programme prior to delivering his impassioned plea.
Passionate about conservation William noted: In the 33 years since I was born we have lost around 70 percent of Africa’s elephant population. Of those that are left, 20,000 are being killed every year – that is 54 elephants killed every single day.”
The royal father of two mentioned his daughter to drive the point home stating: “At this rate, children born this year – like my daughter Charlotte – will see the last wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthdays.”
William continued: “The greatest inheritance we can pass on to the next generation is a safe and sustainable environment: the priceless endowment of nature. Let us not tell our children the sad tale of how we watched as the last elephants, rhinos and tigers died out, but the inspiring story of how we turned the tide and preserved them for all humanity.
William has made this particular campaign one of his most high-profile issues in the past twelve months. United for Wildlife was created by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and aims to unite the world’s leading wildlife charities to build a global movement for change that will help the environment. Amongst its ambassadors are David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray.
Before thanking viewers in Mandarin, The Duke of Cambridge concluded with a suggestion: “let us show the world that by working together we can stand up to the great challenges our planet and our families will face in the generations to come.”
China’s President Xi Jinping, accompanied by his wife Madame Peng Liyuan, will begin their four-day State Visit on 20 October. The President and his wife are staying at Buckingham Palace as the Queen’s guest.
On Tuesday, The Duke of Cambridge will call on the President at Buckingham Palace. Wednesday he President and Madame Peng will join The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a creative industry event at Lancaster House. The event will celebrate the cultural collaboration, existing and future, between the UK and China.