Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex is celebrating Earth Day this year by narrating a special conservation video, “Hope Starts Here,” for African Parks, a conservation NGO which manages 19 parks in 11 countries in partnership with governments and communities across Africa.
In the video, Prince Harry, who has served as the President of African Parks since 2017, makes an appeal for protected areas in Africa, highlighting the importance of adequately resourcing National Parks and Protected Areas so they can deliver essential services like clean air and water, food security, carbon sequestration, jobs, education, and healthcare.
“As we now begin to move towards an era of global recovery and regeneration, it’s critical that we continue to look at the strengthening and protecting of biodiversity, not just as a value we hold—but as a responsibility that is vital to our way of life,” Prince Harry said in as statement, expressing the urgency of the issue. “On this Earth Day, I reflect on generations of conservation champions, including my late grandfather, and feel proud and energised to continue doing my part in this legacy. This year especially, I join the incredible African Parks team and communities around the world in shared dedication to our environment and collective wellbeing.”
African Parks has been a leader in conservation since 2000, when they pioneered an effective Public-Private Partnership model for protected area management. Today they are responsible for managing nearly 15 million hectares, the largest amount of area being conserved by any one NGO on the continent.
“While we created African Parks 20 years ago to address the challenge of failing protected areas in Africa, today we see these effectively managed landscapes helping to address some of the most pressing challenges of our times, including climate change, pandemics, security and human wellbeing,” said Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks, also in a statement.
He continued: “Alongside the dedication and commitment of Prince Harry, and with our transformational funders and all our Government partners, we are realising the value of these wild areas by ensuring that the people who live within or around them truly benefit from them being conserved. It is a sure way forward in helping to create a sustainable future for local communities, and for our planet.”