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Prince William unveils agreement to tackle wildlife trafficking routes

The Duke of Cambridge signing the declaration to help prevent wildlife trafficking Credit: Kensington Palace

Prince William has announced a new global agreement to crack down on wildlife trafficking routes.

The Prince called the declaration, which was signed by global transport leaders and unveiled at Buckingham Palace, a "game changer in the race against extinction".

40 transport chiefs including airline, shipping firm and custom agency leaders signed the declaration, which was the result of a year's worth of meetings and research between members of the United for Wildlife group.

If we allow current trends to continue, there will be no African elephants or rhinos left in the wild by the time my daughter Charlotte reaches her 25th birthday. The poaching crisis is bringing violence, death, and corruption to many vulnerable communities. It threatens to rob future generations of their livelihoods in those regions where wildlife tourism is the core of local economies.

But this crisis can be stopped. We know where the animals are that we need to protect. We know where the markets for wildlife products are and where awareness, education, and law enforcement need to be improved. And with the Buckingham Palace Declaration being signed today, global transport leaders are saying we know many of the ways wildlife products are being moved from killing field to market place.

– Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife.

In numbers: Africa's poaching crisis

The declaration includes 11 commitments for signatories, which will help to crack down on the illegal transport of wildlife. These include:

  • Developing information sharing systems for the transport industry
  • Supporting a system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant authorities
  • Notifying relevant law enforcement authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife

The Duke of Cambridge added the commitments needed to be quickly implemented.

"It is my view, that if we have not turned this crisis around within the next five years, we will have lost this battle forever," he said.

Lord Hague and Prince William with the 40 signatories of the declaration

There has been increased awareness of the steps needed to urgently combat the rapidly escalating poaching crisis on the ground in places like Africa.

This week the Duke of Cambridge told ITV News the world has five to ten years to save the Rhino.

Stop Slaughter: ITV News investigates the poaching crisis

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