The Duke of Sussex has said a major collaborative approach “across agencies, borders and continents” is needed to end the poaching of Africa’s famous animals such as rhinos and elephants.
Harry’s comments came on the eve of a visit to Malawi’s Liwonde National Park, where he will pay tribute to a British soldier killed by an elephant earlier this year while working as a counter-poaching operator.
At a reception at the official residence of Britain’s High Commissioner to Malawi Holly Tett, the duke told leading figures from the country’s national life: “It is only by working together across agencies, borders and continents that we can finally put an end to the illegal wildlife trade crime that continues to deprive local communities of some of their most valuable natural resources.”
He went on to say, at the event in the capital Lilongwe, that poaching “hampers development and undermines the rule of law” and praised the nation’s ability to track down the poachers.
The duke said: “Guardsman Mathew Talbot was unfortunately killed a few months ago in the line of duty but the relationship between the British military and the Malawian rangers remains strong.”
Harry will lay a wreath on Monday and pay tribute to Guardsman Talbot of the Coldstream Guards, who died while on a joint anti-poaching patrol with local park rangers in May.
The soldier was working to train rangers and act as a role model for them, and as part of a team had helped to remove 229 snares which hampered the work of poachers.
British soldiers have been deployed across Africa helping in the fight against illegal poaching, training rangers in tracking, general infantry skills and bush craft.
Harry apologised for his wife Meghan and son Archie not being able to visit the country, as they have remained in South Africa while the duke is on a separate tour that has already taken him to Botswana and Angola.
He said: “But everywhere we’ve been, we’ve received an incredibly warm welcome and again it is always the young people that truly inspire us.
“With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, this younger generation really does have a huge amount of hope, a huge amount of optimism, and they really are able to create solutions for some of the world’s greatest problems.”
Earlier, Harry sat down for talks with Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika, with the pair discussing a range of topics from the importance of female education to the further strengthening of the trade and investment relationship between the UK and Malawi.