Prince William quits military to fight for the environment

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As heir to the throne of England, Prince William has garnered international attention for his entire life. But now the 31-year-old royal has announced plans use his spotlight to illuminate the environmental cause -- quitting his position in the UK's Armed Forces to head an organization that combats the illegal wildlife trade.

Earlier this week, William stepped-down from his role as a rescue-pilot with the Royal Air Force, to focus on protecting vulnerable species. According to The Telegraph, William will preside over United For Wildlife, a partnership he created which teams up seven influential wildlife organizations to tackle some of the biggest perils to the planet's biodiversity.

"The threats to our natural heritage are extensive, but I believe that this collaboration of the best minds in conservation will provide the impetus for a renewed commitment and action to protect endangered species and habitats for future generations," says William.

"At the root of the illegal wildlife trade, for example, is the demand for products that require the deaths of tens of thousands of these animals every year, pushing them further towards extinction. We must work together to prevent this catastrophe and allow our children the opportunity to experience wildlife in its many beautiful and varied forms.”

With such a high-profile figure devoted to raising awareness for environmental causes, it could be a boon to conservation efforts, particularly as species throughout the world continue to be driven towards preventable extinction.

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