Royal visit to USA shines a spotlight on illegal wildlife trade

Their Royal Highnesses are currently in the United States for a series of engagements that include representing United for Wildlife and promoting collaborative sustainable conservation issues.

The Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, has attended an anti-corruption conference at the World Bank in Washington DC to discuss a zero tolerance approach to illegal wildlife trafficking and announce a taskforce chaired by William Hague. The Duke then attended a working lunch to discuss the fight against the illegal trade in ivory.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a founding member of United for Wildlife, with Conservation International, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK and The Zoological Society of London, alongside the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Executive Director of FFI in the United States, Katie Frohardt, said, “A keystone initiative of United for Wildlife is our work in tackling the illegal wildlife trade – using targeted, creative ways to expand the constituency engaging actively on this critical issue.

“We welcome the Duke and Duchess and their invaluable support in combating the loss of wildlife globally. To have such high profile ambassadors supporting our collaboration really shines a light on the urgency of this issue. By working together, we are in the best position to be able to put an end to the trafficking and trade that is devastating wildlife and wild places the world over.”

Within the United for Wildlife coalition, FFI is currently leading on increasing support for young conservationists across the world and collaborating on initiatives for better protection of threatened species within their habitats. We are also focusing on the opportunities that new technologies offer to help solve conservation problems.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoy a basketball game. © 2014 NBAE/Getty Images.

During their visit, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a basketball game, where an exciting announcement was made. © 2014 NBAE/Getty Images.

Their Royal Highnesses also attended a reception in New York, organised by the Royal Foundation, where they welcomed many of the United for Wildlife coalition partners.

They then enjoyed an NBA Basketball game – watching the Brooklyn Nets play the Cleveland Cavaliers – to kick-off a new partnership between United for Wildlife and the NBA, and announce three new ambassadors.

This short video was shown during half time at the NBA game. Courtesy of United for Wildlife.

NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo, Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder and two-time All-Star Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks will join existing ambassadors including David Beckham, Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton and Yao Ming to help get the message out about the #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign, which uses sport to reach new audiences.