The Duke of Cambridge has made an impassioned plea for a coalition of politicians to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. And he has shown just how personal the issue is to him by explaining why his fight to preserve endangered species is linked to the world he wants Prince George and Princess Charlotte to grow up in.
Prince William, who has led a high profile campaign against the illegal wildlife trade over the last year, has written an opinion piece for the Financial Times explaining why the matter now needs urgent attention. And he begins by confessing that he doesn’t know how he would explain to his children how organisations around the world had allowed the last elephant or rhinoceros to die.
William goes on to say that, in those circumstances, it would make it very hard for anyone to offer reassurance that other environmental issues like climate change could be tackled successfully. He talks about the importance of fighting illegal wildlife trading for the ‘global collective confidence’ and underlines several times why he believes it is a fight which has to be won.
The Duke of Cambridge also tackles criticism that there are more pressing issues for the world to face right now than protecting wildlife. William writes about the impact that the illegal wildlife trade has on human lives too, mentioning that 1,000 park rangers in Africa have been killed in the last ten years by poachers and explaining in detail the role that legal wildlife tourism plays in the economic activity of many countries.
And William returns several times to his idea that tackling illegal wildlife trading is a way to boost confidence in global collective ability to solve other pressing issues. And he mentions ongoing work by his United for Wildlife organization which is currently developing a plan aimed at shutting down routes used by poachers.
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 create a global movement for change that will help the environment. Amongst its ambassadors are David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that William has put this issue on the global front pages – he raised the campaign when he met US President Barack Obama last December as well as making a high profile speech about it during the American visit. And in his piece for the Financial Times he mentions how he also talked about the subject with the President of China, Xi Jinping, on his visit to Beijing earlier this year.
And with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expected to take a high profile role in the upcoming State Visit by the Chinese President in the weeks ahead, it may well be that this isn’t the last time that William’s campaign makes headlines in October.
Photo credit : World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr