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​Prince William visits Vietnam for wildlife conservation

​Prince William visits Vietnam for wildlife conservation

Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 10:16 GMT+7

The Duke of Cambridge touched down in Hanoi on Wednesday morning for a two-day visit to Vietnam, during which he will attend an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade.

Shortly after arriving at Noi Bai International Airport, Prince William paid courtesy visits to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, with whom he discussed wildlife conservation efforts.

The duke had expressed his belief prior to the visit that Vietnam would be among the pioneers in wildlife conservation, according to Kensington Palace.

Prince William will today attend meetings with experts in traditional Vietnamese medicine as well as public figures, representatives from non-governmental organizations, celebrities, and the business community in Hanoi.

On Thursday, the British monarch is scheduled to attend the third International Wildlife Trade Conference (IWTC) in Vietnam’s capital, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The conference will “bring together global leaders to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect wild species from the threat of extinction,” according to its official site.

The duke, who is the President of United for Wildlife, attended the first IWTC in London in 2014 alongside the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry.

The Duchess of Cambridge is not accompanying Prince William on his visit to the Southeast Asian country.

Other public figures to have previously visited Vietnam to advocate for wildlife conservation include American actress Maggie Q and her fiancé, actor Dylan McDermott, who took part in a wildlife conservation program in Vietnam last April.

Vietnam has become a transit point for elephant ivory intended for customers in China and the U.S. who make jewelry and home decorations, and the Southeast Asian nation remains a major consumer of rhino horn.

On Saturday, Vietnamese authorities destroyed nearly 2.2 metric tons of seized elephant ivory and 70 kilograms of rhino horns, after one of its biggest interceptions yet in the fight to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.

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