Large-scale seizures of illegal ivory are at record highs and poaching of rhino and elephants is at the worst level seen for 25 years - but the shipping industry can play a part in ending the illicit trade of wildlife and wildlife products, HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge said in an address to the UK Chamber of Shipping's Annual Dinner on Monday.
"The nub of my argument is that ultimately I believe that tackling the illegal trade in wildlife is in your interests as an industry," the Duke said. "The trade undermines security; it fuels organised crime and it robs developing countries of a natural resource that will contribute to their future prosperity."
The Duke is President of United for Wildlife, a coalition of leading wildlife charities. United for Wildlife set up the Transport Taskforce to engage the transport industry to save protected species from illegal trade.
The UK Chamber of Shipping was among the first signatories to United For Wildlife's Buckingham Palace Declaration, which forms an action plan to strengthen defences against trafficking. Forty transport companies from around the world have since signed the agreement.
The UK Chamber's recently launched Environmental Resolution lists the total deterrence and prevention of the transport of illegal animal and plant products by sea such as ivory as a goal.
The Chamber is encouraging its members to become signatories to the Environmental Resolution to show their commitment to meeting this target and to maintaining the highest possible standards in sustainable operations.
To find out more about the Environmental Resolution and how your company can become a signatory, contact David Balston.