Princes and ministers unite at illegal trade summit

On February 12th and 13th, ministers from around the world will come together in London to discuss the illegal wildlife trade, estimated to be worth a staggering £11.5 billion. Amongst those in attendance, will be Prime Minister David Cameron,, Environment Secretary-cum-skeptic Owen Paterson, and WWF president HRH The Price Of Wales with his son HRH The Duke Of Cambridge – who earlier this year set up a conservation foundation United For Wildlife.

By TheMatthewSlack [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By TheMatthewSlack [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Cultimating heads from top government at the most important global summit on the topic to date, the meeting hopes to tackle aspects of illegal trade that lead to additional such as terrorism, arms, and drugs trafficking.

Issues such as shark finning, rhino horns elephant tusk poaching are high on the agenda. Problems for local communities, including the loss of life in national parks, regional conflict, and even national security hope to be tackled through the prevention of illegal trade. Unfortunately, problems still stem from increasing demand for products from the rising middle classes in Asia.

Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed his concern for the problem, commenting “it makes me utterly ashamed to think that our generation could be the ones to wipe out these incredible animals due to the actions of criminals and the inaction of the international community“. 

The meeting next week hopes to receive signatures for a political declaration of commitment toward the issue, and actions that should be taken to help stop it. 

By Dan Bennett [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dan Bennett [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons