By Rhishja Cota-Larson
Prince Charles and Prince William are calling upon world leaders to place the battle against wildlife trafficking at the top of the global agenda.
At a May 21st, 2013, event in London hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and the UK government, Prince Charles said: “As a father and a soon-to-be grandfather, I find it inconceivable that our children and grandchildren could live in a world bereft of these animals.” He also warned about the far-reaching effects of the illegal wildlife trade.
It is particularly important at this crucial time to recognize that illegal trade in wildlife is a serious crime that is not only decimating critically endangered species, but is also a pervasive instrument in destabilizing economic and political security. Finding a solution will require people from many different sectors to work together.
He explained that, “Skyrocketing demand – primarily, but not exclusively, from Asia – for ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts, as well as other products, is fuelling this astonishing explosion in poaching.”
The bulk of the intended use is no longer for products that can be classified as traditional medicines. Instead, members of the world’s growing middle class are seeking exotic products that reflect their economic prosperity and status.
The Duke of Cambridge Prince William described wildlife trafficking as “a form of ‘economic sabotage’ of diverse communities in the range states.”
Tackling illegal wildlife trade would bring about numerous benefits – as we have already heard today – in poverty alleviation, the reduction of organised crime and better security. More....