The Duke of Cambridge unveils new United for Wildlife declaration to tackle illegal wildlife trade


Major financial institutions have united behind The Duke of Cambridge’s mission to disrupt the illegal trade in wildlife products.

In an unprecedented move, global financial organisations will join together to sign the 'Mansion House Declaration' as part of United for Wildlife’s Financial Taskforce meeting on Wednesday 10th October, agreeing that they "will not knowingly facilitate or tolerate financial flows that are derived from IWT and associated corruption".

The declaration includes commitments to sharing resources and intelligence in a bid to disrupt the illegal income generated by poached animal products such as elephant tusks, rhino horn and pangolin scales.

The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is organised crime on a global scale, estimated to be worth up to $23 billion annually, and is linked to money laundering, corruption and extreme violence, as well as the trafficking of drugs and weapons.

The Financial Taskforce is being convened by His Royal Highness through his charity United for Wildlife, which is run by The Royal Foundation. The Taskforce will be chaired by Lord Hague of Richmond, and will initially comprise of representatives from 30 global banks and financial organisations such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, RBS and Bank of America, and agencies and regulatory bodies including TRAFFIC and RUSI.

Using existing frameworks for tackling global financial crime, alongside initiatives which some financial institutions are already utilising to tackle IWT, a bank-led experts group comprising of representatives from financial organisations, legal advisors and technical experts has created the Mansion House Declaration which outlines six commitments:

1. Increasing awareness of how the financial industry can combat IWT

2. Providing training to identify and investigate suspicious activity

3. Providing intelligence to regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies

4. Reviewing intelligence alerts received through the Taskforce and taking appropriate actions

5. Considering additional actions such as policy amendments

6. Supporting and promoting the work of the Taskforce and external supporting mechanisms

The Declaration follows on from the success of United for Wildlife’s Transportation Taskforce, and the Buckingham Palace Declaration.

Since the launch of the Transportation Taskforce, more than 100 organisations, including shipping and airline companies, law enforcement, trade bodies and NGOs, have signed the Buckingham Palace Declaration, committing to combat IWT in the transport sector.

Taskforce members have delivered specific counter-IWT training to more than 25,000 front line staff, contributed to 5 seizures of wildlife products worth over $500,000, and assisted with more than 32 law enforcement investigations and the arrests of 8 wildlife traffickers.

The Mansion House Declaration will also be signed by Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development, in recognition of the UK Government’s commitment to the issue, and the conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, taking place in London from 11th – 12th October 2018. The Conference, at which The Duke of Cambridge will deliver the keynote speech, will focus on tackling IWT as a serious organised crime. The creation of the Financial Taskforce is a key step towards organisations from around the world helping to support this mission.

Chair of the Taskforce, Lord Hague of Richmond said: "The illegal wildlife trade has grown substantially in recent years, despite considerable international efforts, and poaching rates for many species are still increasing to feed the growing criminal demand.

"Traffickers are brazenly exploiting global financial systems to move the proceeds of their crimes, remaining under the radar of investigation and law enforcement. Financial institutions can, therefore, play a crucial role in disrupting such criminal activities and ending the illegal wildlife trade.

"It will take a truly global approach, with multiple organisations and sectors working together, to eradicate this barbaric trade and so I am delighted that the financial sector is now committing its much needed support to do so."

David Fein, Group General Counsel at Standard Chartered and Vice-Chair of the Taskforce said: "By following the money, financial institutions can help map the criminal networks and provide law enforcement with vital intelligence to support their investigations and prosecutions.

"We want to take the fight to the traffickers, by using the tools and experience the financial sector has learned from combatting other devastating crimes, such as human trafficking and terrorist financing."

Related content


The Prince of Wales attended the United for Wildlife Summit

The Prince of Wales attended the United for Wildlife (UfW) Global Summit

The Duke of Cambridge visited Microsoft Headquarters to learn how new technology is disrupting the illegal wildlife trade

The Duke of Cambridge, visited Microsoft Headquarters to view AI scanning technology

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Conservation Awards

My generation and those following are acutely aware that we cannot simply carry on as we are.

21 November 2019

The King's Cup

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will host the inaugural regatta The King’s Cup in 2019

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce Declaration Signing

This trade has become the fourth largest criminal trafficking enterprise in the world, with billions of pounds flowing into the black market.

10 October 2018

The Duke of Cambridge gives a speech at the Tusk Trust Ball

Enormous strides have been made in tackling the threat posed to so many species by the illegal wildlife trade.

02 November 2017

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Awards 2016

Our natural heritage does not belong to us – I believe we simply hold it, in trust, for our children and grandchildren. Wherever we are in the world, we must all play our part...

01 December 2016

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the third International Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade

We can win this battle. And in doing so we can take a small, but very important step in reminding ourselves that we are capable of rising to the challenges of our age

17 November 2016

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the launch of Canada's contribution to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy

Her Majesty is immensely grateful to you, and the people of Canada, for the leadership you have shown in making this contribution

26 September 2016

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at Tusk's Time for Change event, The Shard, London

We have the opportunity to end, once and for all, the mixed messages we have sent for too long about the value and desirability of wildlife products

22 September 2016
Press release 22 September 2016

The Duke of Cambridge will visit Vietnam

Read more

Combatting the illegal wildlife trade

The Duke of Cambridge is committed to tackling the illegal wildlife trade

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Conservation Awards 2015

This is the sharp end of the human impact of one of the world's most pressing conservation crises.

24 November 2015

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge on the illegal wildlife trade for Chinese television

At this rate, children born this year – like my daughter Charlotte – will see the last wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthdays.

19 October 2015

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at Tusk's 25th Anniversary Ball

The need to protect wildlife in Africa is greater than ever before.

17 September 2015

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge about the illegal wildlife trade, at the Botanical Gardens in Xishuangbanna, China

As I believe you say in China, “one generation plants the trees in whose shade another generation rests”.

04 March 2015

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the United for Wildlife reception, New York

You’re the lights at the end of the tunnel.

09 December 2014

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge on the illegal wildlife trade at the World Bank

I am determined not to let the world´s children grow up on a planet where our most iconic and endangered species have been wiped out.

08 December 2014

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Awards, 2014

As I've said before, time is running out.

25 November 2014

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the United for Wildlife Symposium

I cannot thank our seven collaborators enough for their hard work in getting us to this point.

12 February 2014

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge to mark the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Let's be part of the movement that can tell our children and grandchildren that we saved these extraordinary species for them.

12 February 2014

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Awards, 2013

Like any new parents, our thoughts inevitably turn to the world that our child will inherit.

13 September 2013

A speech by Duke of Cambridge at the Anglesey Show

This island has been our first home together, and it will always be an immensely special place for us both.

14 August 2013

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the End Wildlife Crime Conference, St. James's Palace

I sincerely hope that my generation is not the first on this planet to consider elephants, rhinos or tigers as historical creatures - in the same category as the Dodo.

21 May 2013

A video message by The Duke of Cambridge for CITES about wildlife conservation

Our children should have the same opportunity that we have to experience wildlife in its many beautiful and varied forms.

01 March 2013

The Duke of Cambridge makes a speech at the UK Premiere of African Cats

It will help many, many people around the world appreciate our planet's extraordinary planet’s natural heritage – and how steadfastly it must be safe-guarded.‬‪

25 April 2012

A speech by Prince William to celebrate 20 years of the Tusk Trust

This legacy is not ours to squander.

07 January 2010
Press release 19 December 2005

Prince William becomes Patron of the Tusk Trust

Read more