The Duke of Cambridge has delivered a powerful speech, urging governments around the world to protect endangered animals. Speaking at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade on Thursday, Prince William expressed his concern over the "horrifying rate" with which vulnerable species are being killed.
The British royal, 34, has called on the UK to follow in the footsteps of China and the US to pass a total ban on the domestic ivory trade following in the footsteps of China and the US.
In his opening speech, Prince William said that while progress had been made since the 2014 London conference, improvements were not being made fast enough to keep up with the poaching crisis.
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The Duke of Cambridge attended the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade on Thursday
"We know that we aren't moving fast enough to keep up with the crisis. Rhinos, elephants, pangolins, lions, they are still being killed in horrifying numbers," he said. "While we've made progress, the truth is we are still falling behind. A betting man would still bet on extinction."
However, the father-of-two did end on an optimistic note. "We can win this battle," he said. "And in doing so we can take a small but important step in reminding ourselves that we are capable of rising to the challenges of our age - a message that our young people need to hear loud and clear."
The event, which was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, The Hanoi Conference, was the third in a series of UK led conferences which bring leaders and key figures together from around the world to focus on tackling the issue.
Prince William arrived in Vietnam – his first trip to the country – on Wednesday
Prince William arrived in Vietnam – his first trip to the country – on Wednesday. He began his visit by calling on Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh.
He also had the chance to bond with local children on the first day of his visit. The father-of-two showed off his paternal side as he visited a local school, Hong Ha Primary, in Hanoi.
William sat down with a group of children who were learning about important conservation issues. The focus of the prince's trip is to raise awareness about combating the illegal wildlife trade.