- Date: September 12, 2013
WWF is pleased to be part of a new high-powered collaboration to address some of the greatest conservation issues facing our planet.
United for Wildlife is a long-term partnership between seven conservation organizations, and is brought together by His Royal Highness Prince William through The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. It will bring together some of the world’s largest environmental organizations and harness the resources and expertise of global leaders in business, communications, technology and the creative industries to tackle a common, universal challenge.
The initial focus of the alliance will be wildlife crime.
“At the root of the illegal wildlife trade, for example, is the demand for products that require the deaths of tens of thousands of these animals every year, pushing them further towards extinction. We must work together to prevent this catastrophe and allow our children the opportunity to experience wildlife in its many beautiful and varied forms,” said Prince William, who will serve as president of the collaboration.
The alliance aims to lead the way in delivering effective responses to, and raising awareness of, conservation crises. It will also focus particularly on engaging and inspiring young people and the next generation of conservation leaders.
High conservation stakes
Through our Stop Wildlife Crime campaign, WWF is applying the strength of our worldwide network, our influence with partners and governments, and the passion of our supporters to a crisis that is costing human and animal lives and threatening to undo years of conservation progress.
“The call to stop wildlife crime is being echoed at the highest levels around the world and WWF deeply appreciates the support of champions like HRHs Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who have brought together a strong alliance of conservation partners under United for Wildlife to tackle this crisis” said Leigh Henry, WWF-US’s Senior Policy Advisor. “WWF is proud to be part of United for Wildlife and remains committed to saving nature.”
The illegal wildlife trade has exploded to feed increasing demand for elephant ivory, rhino horns, and tiger products, particularly in Asia. Run by dangerous international crime syndicates, this underground economy traffics animal parts much like drugs or weapons. Wildlife criminals often operate with impunity, making the trade a low-risk/high-profit business. Today, it is the fifth most profitable illicit trade in the world, estimated at up to $10 billion annually.