His Royal Highness Prince Charles and His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will host an international conference at St James’s Palace today, in order to bring the issue of illegal wildlife trade to the fore.
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge will address guests from some of the countries most affected by the trade of illegal wildlife products and will call for global partnerships to reduce the demand for African elephant ivory, Black and White rhino horn and the skins and bones of Asian tigers.
Environment secretary, Owen Paterson, will join the Princes in demanding urgent action to intensify law enforcement against the criminals responsible and to assist rural communities in finding alternatives to the illegal wildlife trade.
With wildlife poaching on the rise, the world is now faced with the possibility of the extinction of some elephant and rhino populations in Africa.
As a patron of Tusk Trust, a conservation charity, the Duke of Cambridge travelled to Botswana in 2010 to raise awareness of this issue. In a video message to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna in March 2013, Prince William said “we need to do more to combat this serious crime if we are to reverse the current alarming trends. If not, we could soon see some populations of these creatures or even entire species disappear from the wild. We simply must not let this catastrophe unfold.”