Prince Charles calls human exploitation of nature ‘insanity’

Britain's Prince Charles, photo: Reuters / Axel Schmidt
Britain's Prince Charles, photo: Reuters / Axel Schmidt

Humans should remember they are part of nature and stop exploiting it to prevent an environmental and climate catastrophe, Britain’s heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles said on Tuesday.

Interviewed by Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood on BBC radio, he urged society to learn from the way indigenous communities, such as Canada’s First Nations people, treat the natural world with respect and seek to preserve it for future generations.

“It is high time we paid more attention to … the wisdom of indigenous communities and First Nations people all around the world,” Prince Charles said. “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.”

Human-beings have forgotten they are part of nature, he added.

“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,” Prince Charles said.

During the interview, the royal – a long-time environmentalist – highlighted problems caused by the over-use of chemicals in farming and contamination of the oceans with micro-plastics.

Prince Charles, 72, who launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative and Council this year, said there had been a transformation recently as businesses started to understand the climate crisis.

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

For the last century, the private sector has contributed to environmental damage, but it “is now a necessary and critical part of the solution”, he added.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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