Prince William to Visit Vietnam on behalf of Elephants and Rhinos This Month


Dave Lawrence, Hawaii Public Radio

Date Published

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Prince William is headed into the Asia Pacific on a solo mission… to defend two animals facing extinction due almost entirely to consumers there. Kensington Palace has announced the Prince will visit Vietnam, the capital of rhino horn use and a major destination for elephant ivory, November 17 and 18, where he will attend the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade. The Duke of Cambridge plans to urge people in Vietnam to stop buying rhino horn and elephant ivory.

In September, the Prince spoke about his mission at the Tusk’s Time for Change event in London, where he said “We have the chance to say that ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury, and not something that anyone needs to buy or sell. We have the chance to say that rhino horn does not cure anything, and does not need a legal market. Now is the chance to send an unambiguous message to the world that it is no longer acceptable to buy and sell ivory, rhino horn or other illegal wildlife products. Indeed, I would challenge anyone who knows the truth of how these wildlife products are obtained, to justify desiring them.”

William, a vocal advocate for both elephants and rhinos, is set to make an unprecedented personal appeal during the visit, meeting with the traditional medicine community, young leaders from across Vietnamese society and political figures from throughout South East Asia.  Kensington Palace said Prince William “will engage with a wide cross section of Vietnamese society in order to encourage the work of local people to stamp out the use of things like rhino horn.”  

United for Wildlife is the nonprofit created by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to combat wildlife trafficking.  Both William and Harry have made the elephant and rhino extinction crises personal crusades. Prince Harry has recently spent time at rhino orphanages in South Africa, as well as in Malawi working with African Parks, participating in one of the largest-ever elephant translocation projects.

Learn more about the rhino extinction crisis in a recent segment on HPR’s All Things Considered with investigative journalist Julian Rademeyer, including a one-hour interview exploring the epidemic in detail.