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Duke of Cambridge to speak at meeting to combat illegal wildlife trade

William will close the United for Wildlife meeting chaired by former foreign secretary Lord William Hague.

The Duke of Cambridge is a keen campaigner for wildlife conservation (Eamonn McCormack/PA)
The Duke of Cambridge is a keen campaigner for wildlife conservation (Eamonn McCormack/PA)

The Duke of Cambridge will speak at the first meeting of the United for Wildlife joint taskforce designed to combat the illegal trade in animals.

The programme, run by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, consists of seven conservation organisations uniting to prevent the trafficking of animals and sale of poaching products.

William will close the meeting, chaired by former foreign secretary Lord Hague, after contributions from members of United for Wildlife taskforces for the financial and transport sectors.

The summit, which is the first time both groups have come together, will focus on the benefits of the two and share their successes.

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The Duke of Cambridge has been outspoken on the issue of wildlife crime such as ivory poaching (Alastair Grant/PA)

Since their formation, the taskforces have supported 52 investigations, helped in the arrest of 10 traffickers and assisted with more than 500,000 dollars (£384,097) in seizures.

The transport taskforce, formed in 2014, develops solutions to wildlife trafficking, such as increasing awareness, reporting and enforcement.

In 2018 the financial taskforce was brought together to share resources and intelligence to prevent illegal income generated.

In October, Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland were among 30 global banks and financial institutions to back the project with a declaration not to “knowingly” facilitate the flow of money from the trade in poached animal products such as elephant tusks, rhino horn and pangolin scales.

The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth up to 23 billion US dollars (£18 billion) a year.

PA

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