In austere surroundings, leading politicians, conservationists, governments representatives, diplomats and non-government organisations joined Prince Charles and Prince William to discuss the plight of some of the world’s endangered species; noticeably elephants, rhinos and tigers.
With broadcaster Kate Silverton acting as the moderator, the 150 invited guests were immediately reminded of the extent of the issue we are facing. Annually in excess of 30,000 elephants are being killed for their tusks, in 2012 668 rhino were poached in South Africa alone for their horns, while only 3,200 tigers remain in the wild.
The ultimate purpose of the meeting was not to recognise there is a problem – those in attendance all realise there is – but to identify existing approaches being taken to tackle the problem and find ways to work collaboratively and ensure effective measures are adopted and pushed to the highest levels of government – making wildlife trafficking a priority issue for our leaders.
The event was co-hosted by the UK Government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and it brought together senior figures from organisations across the globe, focused on the protection of wildlife, including; WWF, Wild Aid, Elephant Family, Environmental Investigation Agency, Tusk Trust, Born Free, The Thin Green Line Foundation, Tsavo Trust, Northern Rangelands Trust, Environmental Justice Foundation, Earthwatch Institute, Wildlife Conservation Society, IFAW, Human Society International, CITES, UNEP, Interpol, IUCN, TRAFFIC, UNODC and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Key speakers introduced the challenges being faced and approaches being adopted; More....