Prince William was visiting China this past week for a royal tour. On his last day there, he flew to Xishuangbanna, which is located on the border that China shares with Myanmar. Xishuangbanna is just a short drive away from many street markets where the trade of ivory, rhino horns and huge quantities of poached animal products are thriving.
Poaching has been a serious issue over the years, and is steadily increasing as the demand for ivory and other animal products keeps growing along with China’s population. The area is also home to the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, which is the last of the primitive tropical rainforests remaining in China. It is also where China is working to protect the Asian elephant.
The Duke of Cambridge had spoken with China’s President Xi Jinping, during a meeting that the two had on Monday. The Duke also arranged to make a speech about the subject at a conference on conservation that he was due to attend. Prince William spoke to the media before he made his speech, stating how important it was that the issue of poaching continues to be at the forefront of peoples’ minds. The amount of animals that are lost to poaching, for such meaningful reasons, is having a devastating impact on the environment, as well as endangering wild species. Much of China’s ivory stock comes from Africa, where it is illegally poached. A raised awareness of the problem will hopefully start to reduce the demand from the Chinese population for these products, many of which are used in ancient Chinese herbal remedies.