Prince William visits Hanoi for wildlife conference

By Trong Giap, Van Viet   November 16, 2016 | 06:11 pm GMT+7
Prince William visits Hanoi for wildlife conference
Britain's Prince William chats with residents at a cafe in the old quarters in Hanoi, Vietnam November 16, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

The Duke of Cambridge met with officials and visited the historic Old Quarter.

Britain's Prince William arrived in Hanoi on Wednesday for his first visit to Vietnam, where he will attend a two-day conference on the international trade in illegal wildlife.

After meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, William spent the rest of his first day exploring the historic Old Quarter and talking to experts in traditional Vietnamese medicine.

The Duke of Cambridge also visited a local coffee shop on Thuoc Bac Street and talked with representatives of NGOs and other public figures.

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Britain's Prince William plays soccer with pupils as he visits a local primary school in the old quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam November 16, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

“He knows the people of Vietnam will share his concern that we have less than 25 years to save some of our most iconic species from extinction. He believes Vietnam has a real opportunity to be leaders in wildlife conservation,” the Prince’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.During his visit, he is expected to take part in a number of high profile events, including a TV talk show to highlight the impacts of the illegal wildlife trade on endangered species.

William is set to address governments from around the world at the third International Wildlife Trade Conference on Thursday.

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Britain's Prince William inspects a set of traditional medicine inside a traditional medicine shop in the old quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam November 16, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool

Organized by the British Embassy and Vietnam's Administration of Forestry, the event will be attended by high-ranking delegates from more than 50 countries and 10 international organizations.

The aim is to "help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect wild species from the threat of extinction" by bringing together a wide range of global figures, according to the event's official site.

The conference is expected to mark an important turning point in Vietnam’s efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade and to close its own domestic ivory markets.

The ivory and rhino horn trade is officially banned in Vietnam, but its use in traditional medicine and for decoration remains widespread, especially among the country's growing elite.On November 12, Vietnam destroyed a huge stockpile of ivory and rhino horn, urging the public to stop consuming illegal wildlife products.

The country is one of the biggest consumers of elephant ivory and rhino horn worldwide. Some locals believe rhino horn has important medicinal and aphrodisiac properties, despite no scientific evidence.

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Britain's Prince William talks with pupils about rhinoceros as he visits a local primary school in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam November 16, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

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Britain's Prince William walks on a street in the old quarters in Hanoi, Vietnam November 16, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

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