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Prince William Visits Vietnam to Promote Wildlife Conservation, Drinks Coffee

Prince William is wrapping up the final day of a Hanoi visit to promote wildlife conservation efforts at the third International Wildlife Trade Conference, hosted by Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to Tuoi Tre, the Duke of Cambridge, who also heads up United for Wildlife, touched down in the capital on Wednesday morning. Prince William first met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as well as Deputy State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, to discuss stronger enforcement of laws against the illegal wildlife trade before heading down to Hanoi’s traditional medicine shops to meet with local proprietors, reports Sky News.  

In an Obama-eats-bun-cha, Google-CEO-loves-lemon-tea kind of move, Prince William also sat down for a quick street coffee before continuing his visit to Hoan Kiem Lake’s Ngoc Son Temple.

During his trip, the English royal also joined local elementary school students to read the storybook I’m a Little Rhino, which has been distributed to 1.5 million students nationwide in an effort to raise awareness about rhinos and the demand for rhino horn.

Prince William’s visit comes in the wake of a Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) conference in which Vietnam was called out by the international community, which threatened to impose sanctions on the country for its inaction against wildlife traffickers.

Earlier this week, a team of investigators also appeared before the Wildlife Justice Commission in The Hague to report their findings on Nhi Khe, a small village south of the capital which processes tens of millions of dollars in endangered animal parts.

With all eyes on Vietnam, the country may now be compelled to take stronger steps toward eradicating illegal wildlife trafficking from its borders.

“[Prince William] 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,” the prince's office wrote in a statement, according to the Telegraph. “He believes Vietnam has a real opportunity to be leaders in wildlife conservation.”

[Photo via VnExpress]

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