The Duke of Cambridge, whose first set of Earthshot Prizes will be awarded this fall, chatted with young people from around the world about the challenges the planet faces

By Simon Perry
February 06, 2021 05:00 PM
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HRH Duke of Cambridge during filming at Wolferton Marshes, Sandringham Estate.
Prince William
| Credit: Oxford Films/Neil Harvey/Discovery+

Prince William took part in an important video call with young environmental activists from around the world.

Earlier this week, the royal, 38, spoke with seven young people from all four corners of the globe as he begins the countdown to his groundbreaking Earthshot Prize.

The representatives from the UN Environment Programme's Young Champions of the Earth initiative told him about the challenges facing each of their regions and passed on their ideas for innovative solutions needed to address the problems.

During the call with William, which was chaired by UNEP's Executive Director Inger Andersen, the group also talked about the response to their projects from local communities, as well as the particular constraints caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the Hindu Kush Range, Pakistan
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Oxford Films/Jaimie Gramston/Discovery+

A recurring theme of William's environmental campaign has been about the hope for the future that exists if the right moves are made by people around the world. The young leaders chatted about the importance of inspiring that optimism and how entrepreneurship and innovation can help bring about environmental improvements.

The seven young people who are this year's Young Champions of the Earth recipients are Niria Alicia Garcia (from the U.S.), Nzambi Matee (Kenya), Xiaoyuan Ren (China), Vidyut Mohan (India), Lefteris Arapakis (Greece), Max Hidalgo Quinto (Peru) and Fatemah Alzelzela (Kuwait).

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is a Global Alliance Partner of The Earthshot Prize and shares the Prize's mission to inspire people all over the world to work together to repair the planet.

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HRH The Duke of Cambridge in woods at the Sandringham Estate
Prince William
| Credit: Oxford Films/Tim Cragg/Discovery+

William's Earthshot Prize is set to run over the next decade to identify solutions to the challenges the planet faces. Nominations for the first Prizes have now closed, but they will be awarded at a glittering ceremony in London in the fall.

Earlier this week, William's father Prince Charles spoke about how the importance of making urgent changes to our behavior to save the planet.

"We have a duty of care for this planet that is absolute," Prince Charles, 72, said in an online discussion through the Royal Society. "We know day by day, we are rapidly destroying the fabric of the natural world for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren, and testing this planet to disruption."

He continued, "It is sheer madness to continue on this path. Sir Partha Dasgupta's seminal review is a call to action that we must heed, for ladies and gentlemen, it falls on our watch and we must not fail."