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Prince Charles: “Our responsibilities as custodians of Earth, compel us to act”

In a report published by his International Sustainability Unit, Prince Charles has called for urgent action on tropical deforestation whilst arguing that the forests are essential for life on Earth.

Not only does the report set out a way forward for tackling deforestation, including creating deforestation free supply chains, but it also notes that in despite of some success in reducing deforestation in recent years, there are no signs as of yet that overall rates of deforestation or degradation are decreasing.

“We can act on forests now, therefore buying much needed time to enable the global transformation to a low carbon economy that places our cities and landscapes within a truly resilient and sustainable system. But forests are not just about the climate change challenge, however vital and pressing that may be.”

The notes suggest that deforestation can have an impact on a wide variety of areas, including from food security and biodiversity. It also states that deforestation has implications for tackling climate change, as the capacity for forests to absorb and store carbon is being dramatically reduced.

“Fortunately, and despite the scale of challenges before us, the report also shows that there is growing local and international agreement on the action required to protect forests. This is just as well for we are, in effect, consuming the forests and, with them, the planet’s ability to survive the blight of climate change. Each and every one of us as a vital role to play.”

The issue of deforestation has long been a concern of The Prince of Wales, a concern that led him to set up the Prince’s Rainforests Project in October 2007. The program tries to find practical solutions to slowing down tropical deforestation and climate change. With the aim of helping the world community recognise the true value of forests, the Prince’s Rainforests Project now engages with rainforest nations, governments, businesses and non governmental organisations to find solutions to deforestation. The project now works with some of the world’s biggest businesses including Barclays Bank, Sky, McDonalds and Shell.

Prince Charles concludes the report by reiterating some words of Mahatma Ghandi:

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Featured Photo Credit: Dan Marsh

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