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US News Challenge to save environment is ‘clear and urgent’, warns William

23:51  21 november  2019
23:51  21 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding a sign: The Duke of Cambridge attends the Tusk Conservation Awards at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square (Toby Melville/PA) © Toby Melville The Duke of Cambridge attends the Tusk Conservation Awards at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square (Toby Melville/PA)

The Duke of Cambridge has called for action on the “clear and urgent” challenge faced by the environment.

Speaking at the Tusk Conservation Awards at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, William said the trade in wild animal parts was “disgraceful and baffling”, while praising leading conservationists.

The Duchess of Cambridge was scheduled to attend the event with her husband, however due to an undisclosed matter regarding their children, William attended the event alone.

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“Earlier today, Catherine and I spent some time with the nominees and finalists. Their bravery, single-minded determination, and commitment to African conservation is deeply deeply humbling,” he said.

Winner 2019 Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa Carlos Lopes Pereira poses with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London, Britain, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool © Thomson Reuters Winner 2019 Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa Carlos Lopes Pereira poses with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London, Britain, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

William presented three awards at the annual ceremony held by Tusk, a charity which supports wildlife conservation work across Africa.

He used his speech closing the event to praise the “hugely important” work of the nominees before calling for action on climate change and other environmental threats.

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He said: “As we approach the start of a new decade, the challenge ahead of us is clear and urgent.

“Climate change, human population growth, exploitation of natural resources, and habitat loss all pose major threats to the precious balance of our natural world.”

a group of people posing for a photo: The Duke of Cambridge poses with the winners and finalists; Jeneria Lekilelei, Benson Kanyembo, Tomas Diagne, Carlos Lopes Pereira and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (Toby Melville/PA) © Provided by The Press Association The Duke of Cambridge poses with the winners and finalists; Jeneria Lekilelei, Benson Kanyembo, Tomas Diagne, Carlos Lopes Pereira and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (Toby Melville/PA)

William said his father the Prince of Wales had rung alarm bells about the state of the environment for many years.

“Right now, young people the world over are ringing that planetary alarm bell louder and with more determination than ever before,” he added.

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

“We have to move faster and more effectively to find ways to balance our demands on this planet with the nature we share it with.”

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Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge appears on stage at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London, Britain, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge appears on stage at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London, Britain, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

The duke has been the patron of the Tusk charity since 2005 and visited its projects in Namibia and Tanzania last year.

He praised the nominees for their “deeply, deeply humbling” attitude to African conservation.

The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa was given to Dr Carlos Lopes Pereira from Mozambique, a vet who has been working to protect elephants for decades and helped to amend conservation law in the country.

William also presented the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award to Benson Kanyembo, a law enforcement adviser who works at Conservation South Luangwa, Zambia and has trained more than 1,000 people as anti-poaching scouts.

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The duke later gave the Tusk Award for Conservation to Tomas Diagne, from Senegal, for his work protecting turtles and tortoises across west Africa.

In his closing speech, the duke highlighted the importance of conservation work, referencing decreasing numbers of wild African lions.

He said: “We have a long way to go in eradicating the trade in other animal parts that threaten so many other endangered species.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, arrives to attend The Tusk Conservation Awards presentation ceremony in London on November 21, 2019. - The annual Tusk Conservation Awards celebrate the achievements of people who work protecting Africa's wildlife and natural heritage. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, arrives to attend The Tusk Conservation Awards presentation ceremony in London on November 21, 2019. - The annual Tusk Conservation Awards celebrate the achievements of people who work protecting Africa's wildlife and natural heritage. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“The fact that there is still a demand for lion parts and other animal products like rhino horn in the 21st century is disgraceful and baffling.”

He then called on businesses to work with governments and transport bodies to help prevent the trade in animal parts.

“It is only through cooperation and partnership between governments, NGOs, businesses and law enforcement, that we will make this trade unprofitable and too high risk for these global criminal networks,” he added.

The duke later paid tribute to a number of rangers killed over the last year for their “selfless commitment” to conservation.

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After the ceremony, William attended a reception at the National Portrait Gallery with charity supporters, including television star Bear Grylls.

Grylls told the PA news agency: “Tonight was celebrating some real unsung heroes, their stories were amazing.

“The work these guys do is inspirational, it’s the real front line of conservation in Africa, respect.”

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