Tusk's Royal Patron
Like his father The Prince of Wales and his grandfather The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Cambridge has a passion for conservation.
The Duke of Cambridge has been the Royal Patron of Tusk since 2005 and has been a powerful advocate for Tusk’s work to support conservation, education and community development across Africa ever since.
As Chief Executive of Tusk, Charlie Mayhew has seen The Duke’s commitment to conservation first-hand, “the Duke shares our philosophy that the future of Africa's unique wildlife relies heavily on our ability to successfully link the livelihoods of the local people with the benefits of preserving their natural heritage.”
In 2010, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled together on a joint overseas tour to visit Tusk projects in Botswana. Together the brothers visited the Mokolodi Nature Reserve, a longstanding Tusk supported project which aims to promote a love of and respect for nature in Botswana’s youth through environmental education. Another project they visited was Botswana Predator Conservation Trust – which is working to develop a bioboundary technique to reduce conflict between farmers and natural predators.
In a speech to mark Tusk’s 20th anniversary, The Duke noted: “The imperative of balancing conservation of wildlife and natural resources with the ever-growing needs of the human race is at the heart of the great challenge facing mankind today.”
During a visit to California in 2011, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception to mark the launch of Tusk's US Patrons Circle at the house of Oscar winning film producer and philanthropist, Steve Tisch. They raised awareness for the charity amongst high profile US supporters, including actress Reese Witherspoon.
At the London premiere of the film African Cats, which The Duke and Duchess attended in April 2012, he gave a keynote address where he highlighted that there are now half as many lions living wild in Africa than as there were 20 years ago, principally due to loss of habitat. “Africa’s natural heritage is the world’s natural heritage. We have to preserve places like this…not just for us, but for future generations”, he said.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the inaugural Tusk Conservation Awards at The Royal Society in London on 12th September, 2013. As Royal Patron of Tusk, the Duke presented the awards including the first Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa – a lifetime achievement award given to Clive Stockil from Zimbabwe. The awards, established in partnership with Investec Asset Management, recognise and highlight the work of dedicated conservationists across Africa.
In his keynote speech, the Duke highlighted: "There is so much good work going on which we can celebrate and get behind. I think sometimes, sat here, we can feel a little powerless to make a difference for species that we desperately care about. The focus that these Tusk Awards bring on a diverse group of brilliant conservationists provides a means of channelling our longing to help."
In the words of Charlie Mayhew: “The Duke’s support for Tusk over the years has been immensely helpful in raising both the profile of the charity and the funds that we need. His ability to draw global attention to the plight of endangered species being decimated by illegal wildlife trade has been warmly welcomed by conservationists across the globe and we are enormously grateful to him”
The Duke shares our philosophy that the future of Africa's unique wildlife relies heavily on our ability to successfully link the livelihoods of the local people with the benefits of preserving their natural heritage.