England’s Prince William today will speak at the World Bank International Corruption Hunters Alliance Conference in Washington where he will depict the illegal wildlife trade as:
“one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today”.
It’s expected he will also directly talk about the leading driver of the illegal trade – China’s ivory industry and the mainland’s lucrative market for endangered animal parts.
According to the UK’s Independent, Prince William will say that the ivory trade has been fuelled by Chinese demand which has seen wholesale ivory prices rise from around:
$5 a kilogram to about $2,110 a kilogram in 25 years.
“Traffickers are taking advantage of globalization, hiding within the huge flows of goods across borders and exploiting technology – from helicopters and precision weapons to the border-less market of the internet,” the Prince will say according to excerpts of his speech that were released to the press in advance.
“Together they loot our planet, to feed mankind’s ignorant craving for pets, trinkets, cures and ornaments derived from the world’s vanishing and irreplaceable species.”
Prince William will point out that the butchering of African wildlife is detrimental to the economies of the countries that they belong to.
“It is wrong that children growing up in countries vulnerable to wildlife crime are losing their birthright in order to fuel the greed of international criminals, and that those children will face greater hardship and insecurity as this crime traps them in poverty,” he will say.
This year there has been growing attention of the affects of Chinese hunger for ivory, most recently with a report last month released by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) which revealed how Chinese-led criminal enterprises and corrupt Tanzanian officials are responsible for the trafficking of an alarming amount of ivory into China.
The report even implicated Chinese navy personnel and top officials.
See the video below for more details about that and the EIA’s report in general.