Prince William delivered a powerful speech at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Tuesday.
The royal appeared at the first meeting of the United for Wildlife joint taskforce, which is designed to combat the illegal trade of animals.
William said in the speech: “Three years ago, we started with just 12 members from the transport sector. Today there are more than 150 members across the transport and finance sectors; a transportation taskforce that spans the globe; and a financial taskforce that has quickly followed suit.”
The programme is run by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
It consists of seven conservation organizations who have united to prevent the trafficking of animals and sale of poaching products.
The Duke, who closed the meeting, continued, “Together, taskforce members have trained over 55,000 industry employees. And you have raised awareness of wildlife crime by painting our message on planes and helping campaigns around the world.”
“You have supported 52 law investigations, 10 trafficker arrests and played a part in seizing half-a-million dollars’ worth of illegal animal products.”
“Today has been incredibly reaffirming. And we should all feel proud that we’re starting to see an impact.”
William went on, “The scale of what we are dealing with remains deeply worrying. In the last four months there have been nine significant seizures in South East Asian countries alone involving tonnes of pangolin scales, rhino horns and ivory.”
“I have stood at meetings like this many times over the years, where we have all discussed how important we think it is to end the illegal wildlife trade, and all shared our fears for the future.”
“But we must, we must ensure these words become action. We must start to see the people behind this evil crime behind bars.”