Prince Harry co-authors an op-ed urging a new approach to conservation
Prince Harry, US Senator Chris Coons and former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn Boshe have co-authored an op-ed, exclusive to Huff Post, supporting a new approach to conservation - one that is led locally, prioritizes human developments and bridges the public and private sectors.
The three of them were in African this past Spring and met to discuss, among other things, the need for innovative ways to finance conservation.
In this timely essay (released on a day when tornadoes once again destroyed massive areas in the US) the three men comment on the ecological disasters the world is facing, with rising sea levels and increasingly severe weather. In Africa, protracted drought has led to food-insecurity for many, caused conflicts and mass migration.
In addition, the trio speak of a biodiversity crisis, citing a 70% drop in mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian populations between 1970 and 2018. A positive trend is noted when protected and conserved areas are managed in partnership with the people who live around and benefit from such areas. Wildlife flourishes as do local economies.
The men note that to truly support the 2 million square miles of protect land spread over 54 countries in Africa, financial resources are needed. The men see this funding coming from creating public-private foundations. However, they also want the conversation initiatives to be driving by the local communities living in the effected areas.