Prince William says human population growth in Africa is harming wildlife, slammed

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge delivers a speech during The Tusk Conservation Awards ceremony in London on November 22, 2021. - Launched with Prince William in 2013, the awards celebrate the work of leading conservationists in Africa. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Duke of Cambridge, UK, Prince William has suggested that an increase in human population on the African continent poses a danger to wildlife.

The 39-year-old Duke and father of two and another on the way, made the comments at a royal-backed conservation charity’s awards on Monday night, while millions were tuning in to watch a controversial BBC documentary about his relationship with the media.

He told the Tusk Conservation Awards in London: “Africa remains on the frontline of conservation, playing host to the most awe-inspiring diversity of flora and fauna.”

The Duke added: “The increasing pressure on Africa’s wildlife and wild spaces as a result of human population presents a huge challenge for conservationists, as it does the world over.

“But it is imperative that the natural world is protected not only for its contribution to our economies, jobs and livelihoods, but for the health, wellbeing and future of humanity.”

Prince William, with two kids and another on the way said:” it is clear Africans are having too many children”.

Africa is home to an estimated 1.3 billion people, up from around 390 million in the 1970s. A projected population boom on the continent could see its population rise to nearly 4.5 billion by the end of the century, according to UN estimates.

Mr Charlie Mayhew, CEO of Tusk said: “With COP26 having recently ended in Glasgow, the world has never been more aware of the importance of this planet’s precious biodiversity.

“We are dependent on the natural world for our own survival. Conservation is not a ‘nice to have’. It is a necessity.”

At Monday’s event, the Duke also paid tribute to those killed while protecting wildlife from poachers, speaking about the “sobering reminder of the bravery of the men and women fighting to protect Africa’s wildlife, and the tragic and needless human cost”.

Winners at the event included Suleiman Saidu, a ranger for Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria, who leads anti-poaching patrols to protect elephants, as well as working with local communities and elephant guardians to help mitigate human-elephant conflict.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award winner Suleiman Saidu holds his trophy next to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during the Tusk Conservation Awards on November 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Mr Charlie Mayhew, CEO of Tusk said: “With COP26 having recently ended in Glasgow, the world has never been more aware of the importance of this planet’s precious biodiversity.

“We are dependent on the natural world for our own survival. Conservation is not a ‘nice to have’. It is a necessity.”

At Monday’s event, the Duke also paid tribute to those killed while protecting wildlife from poachers, speaking about the “sobering reminder of the bravery of the men and women fighting to protect Africa’s wildlife, and the tragic and needless human cost”.

Winners at the event included Suleiman Saidu, a ranger for Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria, who leads anti-poaching patrols to protect elephants, as well as working with local communities and elephant guardians to help mitigate human-elephant conflict.

Criticized

Journalist Nadine Batchelor-Hunt tweeted that Africa’s current population density was considerably lower than that of Asia and Europe.

Asia population density: 100 per square kilometre

Europe population density: 72.9 per square kilometre

Africa population density: 36.4 per square kilometre

Others suggested the greater source of harm to the fauna on the African continent was European hunters in the early 20th century.

“To blame African civilians is to totally misunderstand African history,” one Twitter user said.

It would be helpful if Prince William paid attention in history. By far the greatest losses of wildlife in Africa occurred in the early 1900s when Europeans arrived with guns and hunted across the continent. To blame African civilians is to totally misunderstand African history.

Adam Armstrong (@disinfo_adam) 

Some went further, saying William had “no moral authority to say anything about Africa or about Africans and their lives”.

“He should spend his time reading good history books and raising his many children and spending time with his very huge family spread out across the world. His opinion is sewage,” one Twitter user said.

Mr William has no moral authority to say anything about Africa or about Africans and their lives. He should spend his time reading good history books and raising his many children and spending time with his very huge family spread out across the world. His opinion is sewage??.

Dr. John Njenga Karugia PhD. (@johnnjenga)

But Population Matters, a British charity that campaigns to reduce population growth and its effects on the environment, welcomed the royal’s remarks, while also calling for British people to have fewer children.

“The prince rightly draws attention to human population as a key driver of wildlife loss globally but there’s a wider context, with high consumption in rich, developed countries like the UK also driving habitat destruction as forests are cleared for crops to feed UK and European livestock,” Robin Maynard, the charity’s director, told UK newspaper The Times.

“The UK has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. The most effective action we can take to cut our consumption is to choose smaller families, a choice not available to hundreds of millions of women elsewhere,” he said, citing a lack of access to safe, modern contraception in some parts of the world.

Mr Robin Maynard of the charity Population Matters said that the Duke had “rightly drawn attention to human population as a key driver of wildlife loss globally”.

However, he stressed the “wider context” of “rich, developed countries like the UK driving habitat destruction as forests are cleared for crops to feed UK and European livestock”.

Mr Maynard told The Times: “The most effective action we can take to cut our consumption [in the UK] is to choose smaller families, a choice not available to hundreds of millions of women elsewhere.

“The number of women with an unmet need for safe, modern contraception across sub-Saharan Africa is rising, representing a quarter of a century of failure by the international institutions supposedly addressing this basic human right and making the UK Government’s slashing of overseas aid to family planning even more deplorable.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here