London/Arlington, Va. USA — The Duke of Cambridge will today join the United for Wildlife organisations at a symposium hosted by the Zoological Society of London to discuss the coordinated international effort that is required to combat the illegal wildlife trade.
The United for Wildlife collaboration, under the Presidency of The Duke, has an extensive international field presence and a large network of collaborating institutions. It hopes to use this powerful global alliance to address both the supply and demand issues of illegal wildlife trafficking and also to support the sustainable development of affected communities and bring those involved in the illegal trade to justice.
United for Wildlife has identified the following commitments as its key areas of focus:
To strengthen site protection on areas that contain target species with the roll out of SMART technology (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) such as satellite nodes, ground sensors, GPS trackers and drones;
To reduce the demand of illegal trade products by working with Governments and other organisations, such as marketing experts and youth leaders, to encourage appropriate consumer messaging to those who buy rhino horn, ivory, tiger and pangolin parts and products;
To engage with the private sector to encourage a 'zero-tolerance' approach towards the illegal wildlife trade. This may include working with businesses that may be unwittingly drawn into the trade chain;
To support the judiciary and local authorities in their efforts to fight wildlife crime;
To support local communities, whose livelihoods are directly affected by the illegal wildlife trade.
This unprecedented collaboration of seven of the most influential field-based organisations and the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will bring together some of the world’s largest environmental bodies and harness the resources and expertise of global leaders in business, communications, technology and the creative industries to tackle this universal challenge.
"Wildlife crimes are crimes against humanity and a threat to our global security. When we lose biodiversity, we undermine the planet's ability to support our health, security, culture and livelihoods; and countries lose sustainable sources of revenue and national pride," said Dr. Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International.
"We have a serious choice to make: either we come together to safeguard these species for our collective, long term well-being, or we continue to allow these wonderful creatures to be driven to extinction for the short term, individual gain of a very small number of individuals. The choice is clear and the opportunity is now. We must unite for wildlife because saving these species is ultimately about saving ourselves."
Conservation International (CI) — Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and employs more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and has nearly 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please visit our website at: www.conservation.org or visit us on , YouTube and .