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United for Wildlife launches Middle East & North Africa chapter

February 2022

United for Wildlife (UfW) has launched a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Chapter, ahead of Prince William’s official visit to Dubai, to further enhance the regional response to the illegal wildlife trade.

This Regional Chapter is being established to work with UfW’s international Financial and Transport Taskforces to share information and resources, strengthen existing partnerships and better respond to support local priorities.

Convened by United for Wildlife’s Principal Partner DP World, the event was hosted at their pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. It brings together leading figures from across transport, finance, law enforcement and NGOs.

The event was marked with new signatories from the financial services sector, who join this growing network to further enhance the regional response to the illegal wildlife trade.

Prince William founded United for Wildlife with The Royal Foundation to raise awareness of this serious and organised crime and bring motivated leaders across business, law enforcement and charities together to ensure the response is greater than conservationists alone.

Countries all over the world are making a collective effort to tackle the issue and the regional expansion of the Taskforces is key to this success. The MENA Chapter is the fifth regional chapter to launch, following East Africa, Southern Africa, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, and Australasia.

Lord Hague of Richmond, Chair of The Royal Foundation said:

“Illegal wildlife trade is among the five most lucrative global crimes and is often run by highly organised criminal networks. Although such networks are difficult to detect and even more difficult to deter, combining forces with the private sector is crucial for us to be able to stop the trafficking of wildlife products. By forming partnerships with transport and finance businesses, we are bringing new voices to the conservation discussion to identify and implement solutions. Our regional taskforces are key to this success, raising awareness and action to support local priorities which disrupt this global criminal trade.”