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HRH The Duke of Cambridge and First Officer Holly Tucker (photo: British Airways)

Prince William flies BA to #EndWildlifeCrime

The UK’s Duke of Cambridge is flying on a British Airways A380 bound for Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya.

The UK’s Prince William has departed from London Heathrow on a British Airways A380 displaying the message #EndWildlifeCrime. Bound for Africa, the mission is to highlight the urgent global threat to wildlife and people from the illegal wildlife trade.

The Duke of Cambridge is on a working trip to Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya, where he will be visiting a range of projects and meeting with conservationists, communities and law enforcement representatives who are working to stop poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.

Speaking recently at an event at the Royal African Society, he said: “Like so many others, I am deeply saddened by the numbers of elephant, rhino and pangolin who have been illegally slaughtered for their tusks, horns and scales. But the illegal wildlife trade also has a devastating human impact.

“Too many brave rangers are tragically killed each year by poachers. Communities see their tourist livelihoods threatened. And the proceeds of the illegal wildlife trade fund broader criminal networks and threaten security.

“This is why I am committed to doing what I can to help end this terrible, global crime. This will be a particular focus of my visit to Africa, and of course the conference on the illegal wildlife trade taking place here in London in October.”

The trip comes ahead of a UK government hosted international conference on the illegal wildlife trade. The conference on October 11-12 will bring together global leaders to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction.

The party is being flown by British Airways, a longstanding supporter of the charity the Tusk Trust and a member of Prince William’s United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce.

Tragic trade
The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be the fourth most lucrative international crime after drugs, arms and human trafficking.

Worth as much as €19 billion per year, it not only threatens some of the world’s most iconic species but also damages sustainable economic growth and the livelihoods of vulnerable people in rural communities.

Products from elephant, rhino, pangolin and tiger are among the most high-value products and are often trafficked via established international transport networks. Criminals also use networks of corrupt officials and agencies to undermine sustainable development and the law, damaging the livelihoods and growth of local communities.

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