Royalty and Sport Unite for Endangered Species
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Earlier this month, as Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge announced that he was quitting the Armed forces, he also revealed that he has brought together an unprecedented collaboration between seven of the world's most influential conservation organisations and the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. The partnership is named United for Wildlife. As president, this will be the Duke’s long-term commitment to tackle the global challenges to the world’s natural resources so they can be safeguarded for future generations. United for Wildlife will initially focus on the illegal wildlife trade.
The Duke was joined by David Beckham and the former Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, one of the biggest sport stars in China, to record two public service videos on behalf of the anti-wildlife trade charity WildAid. The videos are aimed at the Far East, which has the biggest market for banned wildlife products such as rhino horn and ivory, and will be released later this year. China has made great progress reducing demand for shark fin soup through a similar campaign; a government ban at banquets is also helping. Traders say shark fin demand has been cut by 50% or more.
The seven conservation organisations partnering the Royal Foundation in United for Wildlife are - Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK and the Zoological Society of London. Beckham says, “When I learned of the current poaching levels in Africa, I immediately agreed to help get this message out. It is shocking to think that we could lose these animals from the wild in our lifetimes.”
An estimated 25,000 elephants are killed every year by ivory poachers and 618 rhinos have been killed so far this year for their horns. The Duke has warned in the past that the "catastrophe" facing rhinos and other species could make them extinct within our lifetime and says, “The threats to our natural heritage are extensive, but I believe that this collaboration of the best minds in conservation will provide the impetus for a renewed commitment and action to protect endangered species and habitats for future generations.”
At the root of the illegal wildlife trade is the demand for products that require the deaths of tens of thousands of these animals every year, pushing them further towards extinction. This organisation understands that to tackle this tragedy and for our children to be able to experience wildlife it needs collaborative action. Demand for rhino horn, ivory and other products made from parts of tigers, turtles and other endangered species is increasing in China and the Far East as living standards rise.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia