The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will host the highest level global summit to date on combating the illegal wildlife trade in London.

The summit next February, to which 50 heads of state have been invited, aims to tackle the $19bn-a-year illegal trade in endangered animals, such as elephants and rhinos, by delivering an unprecedented political commitment along with an action plan and the mobilisation of resources. The Prince of Wales and his son, the Duke of Cambridge, who will both attend the summit, have previously highlighted the strong links between wildlife poaching, international criminal syndicates and terrorism and threats to national security. The summit will be chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. The level of wildlife crime has soared in recent years, driven by demand form the rapidly expanding middle classes in Asia who value tiger, elephant and rhino products as status symbols. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2013