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Humans should remember they are part of nature, says Prince Charles

In an interview with Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood on BBC radio, Prince Charles has urged society to draw on how indigenous communities treat the natural world with respect and seek to preserve it for future generations.

His Royal Highness said that humans should remember they are part of nature and stop exploiting it to avert environmental and climate catastrophe.

“It is high time we paid more attention to the wisdom of indigenous communities and First Nations people all around the world,” said Prince Charles. “We can learn so much from them as to how we can re-right the balance, and start to rediscover a sense of the sacred, because … Mother Nature is our sustainer.”

“But we have forgotten that, or somehow been brainwashed into thinking that we have nothing to do with nature and nature can just be exploited but if we go on exploiting the way we are, whatever we do to nature – however much we pollute her – we do to ourselves. It is insanity.”

The Prince of Wales has been an environmental activist for more than five decades. In partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF), he recently launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative to address the increasing threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. The goal of the initiative is to make global markets more sustainable, which could help to both fight climate change and build resilience against it. 

During the interview with Atwood, Prince Charles highlighted problems caused by the excessive use of chemicals in agriculture and the pollution of the oceans with plastics. He suggested that as businesses have started to grasp the magnitude of the climate crisis, there has been movement toward a sustainable future.

“Suddenly I noticed in the last 18 months or so, there has been a complete change of approach,” he said, emphasizing that the initiative would find opportunities for companies to back projects that value nature, people, and the planet.

At the World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos, the Prince of Wales said that bold and imaginative action was needed to tackle the greatest threats that have ever been faced by humanity – global warming, climate change, and biodiversity loss. “We need nothing short of a paradigm shift.”

“I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the message of urgency, systemic change, collaboration and integration is heard. We simply cannot waste any more time – the only limit is our willingness to act, and the time to act is now.”

The report was published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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