I do congratulate you, if I may say so, on the enormous effort you have made, it is quite remarkable. And as joint Presidents of Elephant Family, my wife and I really could not be more delighted than to welcome you all here this evening for what is a very special event. And nor could we prouder, I hasten to say, to support this magnificent charity in their devoted efforts to address the much overlooked Asian wildlife crisis through their pioneering work protecting landscapes for the elephants and other wildlife that live within them.
Particularly, if I may say so, via elephant corridors, early warning systems for local people living alongside wildlife and support for subsistence farming communities who face a daily battle with elephants for space and food. From this day forward, Elephant Family will not only dedicate their efforts to protecting Asia’s elephants, but also to protecting all other wildlife in the region that find themselves in conflict with humans and moving those communities towards coexistence – that is the key.
And in addition to the herd of elephants currently residing in the garden here at Clarence House - which I don’t think any of you have probably seen, there are more over the road, all made from an invasive weed which is the great thing - I am delighted to announce that there will be a hundred of these elephants coming to the Royal Parks next year to raise ten million dollars, we hope, for human wildlife coexistence projects in Asia, with tonight’s efforts also counting towards that goal. So you know your duty, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I need hardly say that it is my sincerest hope that the new alliance between Elephant Family and my British Asian Trust will further fortify efforts to protect Asia’s elephants, tigers, orangutan and peacocks, which I must say, Ladies and Gentlemen, everyone here tonight is emulating to perfection! And finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, can I ask you to raise your glasses and drink a special toast to the memory of my darling wife’s late brother and a much loved brother-in-law for me and founder of Elephant Family.