The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has sent over 44,000 signatures to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as part of a campaign to encourage people around the world say NO to ivory.
The wildlife charity's online petition has also been backed by celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Ricky Gervais.
Dame Daphne Sheldrick founder of the DSWT said: "Elephants as a species are today facing very grave threats. The demand for ivory has escalated in the Far East, particularly in China where the populace is becoming more opulent".
The Duke of Cambridge said more needs to be done to tackle poaching and the illegal trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn after analysis showed such crimes have reached "shocking levels".
Prince William, who addressed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference in Thailand via video, said: "As we enter 2013 the world's natural resources are under threat as never before.
"We know from the data and analysis presented to [The CITES meeting in Thailand], that the illegal killing of the African elephant and rhino, and the related illegal trade of ivory and horn, has reached shocking levels in the past few years."
In Prince William's message to the CITES conference he says the levels of rhino and elephant poaching are "shocking".
The CITES head called for the fight against wildlife crime to have same resources as war against drugs.
Prince William addressed an audience in Thailand via video as part of a conference to 'ensure the survival of the planet's wildlife'.
Some 177 government and agencies have been trying to halt the trade in ivory and rhino horn in an international agreement known as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
The Duke of Cambridge said: "There will undoubtedly be differences of opinion from time to time, but I know that you are all bound by a common objective: to ensure the survival of the planet's wildlife.
"It is 40 years to the day since the convention was signed in Washington DC, so please join me in wishing CITES a very happy 40th birthday."
Some 177 government and agencies have been trying to halt the trade in ivory and rhino horn in an international agreement known as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). They meet again this weekend and are facing criticisms
Heather Sohl, chief adviser for species at WWF UK, said: "We have got the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Thailand that have been heavily implicated as a demand countries. Also China needs to step up and make sure its enforcement is stopping the illegal ivory trade that is going on there.
"For rhino horn we need to ensure Vietnam, which is the main consumer of illegal rhino horn is actually taking the measures to enforce controls. We need to see Mozambique, which has been highlighted as a transit country from South Africa, live up to commitments signed with CITES."
Poaching in Africa has rocketed in the past five years in the face of soaring demand in the Far East for ivory and rhino horn, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Businesswoman and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden said: "This has got to stop. On my watch - in my lifetime - we cannot see these animals disappear."
"In our lifetime we could lose elephants in the wild. We could lose rhinos in the wild.
"What is probably less understood is that we know where the money comes from, but where is it going? Often it will be fuelling war and conflict."