As the Prince of Wales has announced a world-first International Statement of Principles for his United for Wildlife Movement. It’s an important agreement for the global move to put an end to illegal wildlife trade.
The principles are agreed upon by governments and how they will move forward to prevent, detect, and deter any financial activity from the illegal wildlife trade. Australia, New Zealand, the UK, South Africa, Canada, and Singapore are just some of the signatories who are committing to regular cooperation. With joint support, there will be joint investigations which it is hoped will lead to more arrests and high-value seizures.
United for Wildlife has also formed landmark partnerships with Interpol and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This comes as the prince says the world is losing ‘its most precious resources at a frightening pace‘ because of exploitation and greed.Embed from Getty Images
Rhino poaching was a specific example brought up as it’s seen a 93% increase seen in the world between 2021 and 2022, in addition to those who trade rhino horns, tiger paws, and pangolin scales are also a part of organised gang traffic.
In his speech, the Prince of Wales said: “This criminal convergence makes the illegal wildlife trade as much a human crisis as an environmental one. The families of more than 1,500 rangers, including over 600 in Asia, who have died in the line of duty need no reminding of that. Nor do the communities across Africa and Asia whose economic development is being undermined by a criminal trade that threatens their ability to prosper in harmony with nature through sustainable eco-tourism and conservation work.”
For nearly a decade, United for Wildlife has worked to disrupt the illegal wildlife trade and to ensure those involved with the crime face an international response as powerful as any other serious, or organised crime.
His Royal Highness finished on the note that the summit must be used to renew collective determination to defeat the criminal gangs. He added, ‘it’s a battle that can be and must be won.’
The speech came during Prince William’s visit to Singapore which will also see the heir to the throne hand out the Earthshot Prize. The awards are a global environmental prize founded by Prince William that support groundbreaking solutions to the world’s climate and nature-related issues. Every year, five winners are awarded for their contributions to environmentalism.Embed from Getty Images
The Prince and Princess of Wales last traveled to Singapore in 2012. The Princess is not present on this trip as she is helping their eldest son, 10-year-old Prince George, prepare for some important school exams.