On the same day Prince William announced he was leaving his military role as a rescue-pilot, he has also announced that his has formed a new environmental organization called United For Wildlife.
The umbrella organization, which he will be president of, has partnered with 7 prominent wildlife groups to combat the illegal wildlife trade, The Telegraph has reported. The new organization also includes The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and brother Prince Harry.
The prince is particularly concerned about bringing attention to the trade in illegal ivory, which has resulted in an estimated 25,000 elephants being killed every year by poachers. Prince William has also warned of the catastrophe of rhino poaching, which has resulted in 618 rhinos being killed for their horns this year alone. Extinction of species is likely if these current situations continue.
The root cause of the illegal wildlife trade, the prince has pointed out, is the demand for “products that require the deaths of tens of thousands of these animals every year, pushing them further towards extinction”. In particular, demand for rhino horn, ivory, products made from tiger body parts, turtles and other species, are said to be increasing in Asia as the standard of living rises.
The prince believes that bringing together the best minds in conservation in this way will provide the impetus for a renewed commitment and action to protect these and other endangered species, and their habitats. The seven organisations being brought together include: WWF-UK, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoological Society of London, and The Nature Conservancy.