Prince William launches The Earthshot Prize - the 'most prestigious environmental prize in history'
The Earthshot Prize aims to encourage and inspire people across the world to find innovative new solutions to one of the gravest problems facing the Earth.
A multi-million pound prize will be awarded to five winners a year over 10 years, comprising at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.
The Duke, 37, joined forces with Sir David Attenborough to make the announcement just as the first countries around the globe saw in the New Year and a new decade.
He said: “The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.
“Remember the awe inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we have put a man on the moon.
“People can achieve great things. The next ten years presents us with one of our greatest tests - a decade of action to repair the Earth.”
The prize, which has been likened to the Nobel Prize, aims to herald a new era of fresh optimism and action on the environment, replacing current pessimism.
A set of five unique challenges, rooted in science, will be announced in the coming months. An annual awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030.
Its name is inspired by the concept of moonshots, which since the moon landing in 1969 has become shorthand for ambitious and ground-breaking goals.
It is hoped that its launch will spawn new technologies, systems and policies just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s led to the development of new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, smoke detectors and advanced water filters.
In a special film made to launch the Earthshot Prize, Sir David said: "The spirit of the moonshot can guide us today as we confront the serious challenges we face on earth.
Appeal by Sir David Attenborough and announcment of the Earthshot Prize
"This year Prince William and a global alliance launch the most prestigious Environment Prize in history.
“The Earthshot Prize. A global prize designed to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers to think differently. Visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challenges of our time.”
The Earthshots aim to reward progress across all sectors of industry and society and could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries – anyone who is making a substantial development or outstanding contribution to solving these environmental challenges.
Prince William’s Earthshot Prize to tackle the climate crisis was hailed the ‘most prestigious environment prize in history’ by David Attenborough. Photograph: Reuters
In addition to a significant financial award, winners will receive large-scale public recognition for their work that will aim to inspire business and government collaboration and scaling.
The prize has been around a year in the making as the Duke consulted with around 60 organisations and experts.
He has spoken to both his father, the Prince of Wales, and his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, about the project as he wanted to build on their own work on conservation and climate change.
Colin Butfield, executive director of WWF - the World Wide Fund for Nature - said: "In just ten years we can go from fear to hope, from disaster to discovery and from inertia to inspiration. The Earthshot Prize challenges us all to make this the decade that we build a future to be proud of."
Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International added: "We have a very small window – 10 years – to jolt earth onto a path of sustainability. It can sound terrifying – or it can sound like one of history’s greatest opportunities.
"Yes, the challenges are daunting. But how we react is still, in this sliver of time left, entirely up to us – and that is what the Earthshot Prize is all about."
The prize was designed and will be initially administrated by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but the long term plan is for it to become an independent organisation involving a global coalition of environmental and conservation NGOs in partnership with businesses and other global figures.
The Duke is aiming to build the biggest coalition of scientists, economists, activists, leaders, governments, businesses, philanthropists, cities, and countries ever established in the field.
It will be supported by a global coalition of philanthropists and organisations.
If EarthShot ever wants to become credible the British Royal family must DIVEST from fossil fuel and uranium:
The assets under her personal discretion and privy use are more likely closer to $1 Trillion.The US has confirmed the use of depleted uranium in both wars but refuses to disclose the scale of the use.
Prince William Announces Environment Prize, Calls For 'Decade of Action to Repair the Earth'
By Sanya Mansoor - 02. January 2020
Prince William has announced a multi-million pound prize for “visionaries” working to solve “Earth’s greatest environmental problems,” from climate change to air pollution. The Earthshot Prize will be awarded to five winners, every year, for the next 10 years. The initiative’s goal is to provide “at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.”
The prize was designed by and will initially be handled by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — headed by Prince William and Kate Middleton. More than 60 organizations and experts were consulted in the process; in time, the Earthshot Prize will likely become an independent organization that continues to involve environmental NGOs, according to a press release from Kensington Palace.
This year, the initiative will debut a series of “Earthshot challenges,” according to its website, with a goal of “[seeking] answers to the biggest issues currently facing the planet, including: climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.”
The prize aims to encourage transformative environmental solutions — especially for communities most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Earthshot Prize winners will involve a significant cash-prize, as well as public recognition at an annual ceremony. Submissions will be accepted from “individuals, teams or collaborations — scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries,” the press release notes, with a goal of sparking a global movement by inspiring “collaborative projects that would not otherwise have been pursued.”
In a statement, Prince William said that humanity now faces a “stark choice” between maintaining the status quo — which, he argues, will “irreparably” damage the planet — or cultivating innovative solutions. “The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests, William said, framing the Earthshot Prize as part of “a decade of action to repair the earth.”
Who is ready to lead as we make the 2020s a decade of action to repair our planet?
Introducing the @EarthshotPrize
"The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve." — The Duke of Cambridge @EarthshotPrize
The prize is inspired by the concept of moonshots — a phrase first coined in the aftermath of the 1969 lunar landing to refer to pioneering projects and initiatives. “Just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s catalyzed new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, the Earthshots aim to launch their own tidal wave of ambition and innovation,” a press release for the initiative states.
Has Prince William learned a lesson or two since last year?
Outrage at Prince William's "racist" conservation video
Prince William's video has been accused of perpetuating "white saviour" stereotypes. © Kensington Palace
A video about Prince William’s recent conservation trip to Africa has been criticised for only including non-Africans’ perspectives on conservation and promoting a “white saviour” stereotype.
Dr. Mordecai Ogada, Kenyan ecologist & author of The Big Conservation Lie, said today:
“This is a diagram of the new British Colonial paradigm. The kingdom of “conservation”. This is the only arena where the heir to the Throne can go around touring the colonies, and telling his subjects how they should be taking care of their own resources.
“HRH Prince William should not pontificate to us about wildlife trade while the UK is the world’s number one trader in ivory. Kenya banned ivory trade a full forty years before the UK. The Duke is most welcome to come visit as a tourist, but he should kindly let us conserve what is ours in the way that suits us best.”
How did William got to be in charge of our African wildlife? All our conservancies should be left to locals who are original owners of the Lands to manage.
— John Kamau (@Johnn_Kamau) October 11, 2018
Only one black person is shown speaking to camera in the film. While all the other contributors share their expertise on conservation, her contribution in the video relates only to the Prince’s leadership abilities.
The people interviewed in the video are:
Charlie Mayhew, CEO of Tusk, who comments on tackling the illegal wildlife trade and later also on Tusk’s work in Africa.
Dr Naomi Doak, Head of Conservation Programmes at The Royal Foundation, who discusses engaging the private sector in conservation efforts and later on how important the Prince’s contribution is to the people he met on his visit.
Dr Antony Lynam, Regional Training Director at SMART for the Wildlife Conservation Society, who talks about the Prince’s support for the use of SMART technology for conservation.
Finally, Patricia Kayaga, the only black interviewee featured in the video, is a student at the College of African Wildlife Management, which the Prince visited on his tour.
The sea of white faces in Prince William’s “financial task force for United for Wildlife” has also been criticized. © Kensington Palace
Charles Nsonkali, a representative of a Baka indigenous community organization in Cameroon, earlier released an open letter to Prince William and Prince Harry which said: “Conservationists seem to think that outsiders are the only people who want to look after nature and can do it effectively but this makes no sense to me.”
Survival International has been highlighting the covert racism endemic in big conservation in an intensive social media campaign over several weeks in the run up to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, taking place 11th-12th October in London. Its video comparing conservation to colonialism was released this week.
Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today:
“It’s hard to think of a more extreme example of the “white saviour” mentality than this video. It amounts to racist propaganda in its promotion of white people as the saviours of Africa. Non-Africans are presented in the film as the real experts on conservation, while the locals are not seen as having anything worthwhile to contribute other than their grateful thanks. The attitudes behind it are chronically outdated, and will destroy conservation if they don’t change; it is the local people who understand their environment and its wildlife better than anybody else and the conservation movement should not only listen to them, but take its lead from them.”