Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Princes in wildlife trade campaign

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry are seeking to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will take part in a cricket match with former international players later today to raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade.

William and Harry will join forces with ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen, former England fast-bowler Devon Malcolm and other sportsmen when they take on a team from the Royal Household.

The private match will take place this afternoon at Windsor Home Park in support of a campaign by the organisation United for Wildlife, formed by the Duke, which is using the power of sport to raise awareness about the illegal trade in animal parts.

It is hoped the #WhoseSideAreYouOn initiative will gather pace on social networks via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and YouTube to raise the profile of the issue.

Also playing on the royal brothers' team will be former Pakistani cricketer Azhar Mahmoud and retired England wicket keeper Paul Nixon.

The fight against illegal wildlife trade is close to William's heart. In February, he hailed a major international conference in London on the trafficking of endangered wildlife as the "beginning of the end of this despicable trade''.

World leaders agreed concrete steps to help safeguard endangered animals from poachers - putting their signatures to a declaration of intent.

William attended the event with Harry and their father the Prince of Wales, who gave the keynote speech, as politicians gathered to discuss how best to combat the illegal trade in rhino horn, tiger parts and elephant tusks which fuels criminal activity worth more than an estimated £11.5 billion each year.

United for Wildlife is a collaboration between seven conservation organisations and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

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