Prince Harry calls for ‘doing not talking’ on environment and climate crisis

Louise Boyle
·4 min read
<p>Prince Harry in Angola</p> (PA)

Prince Harry in Angola


The Duke of Sussex has called for action rather than words to tackle environmental issues and the climate crisis.

Prince Harry, voicing his support of a new Netflix-style platform for climate documentaries, said that protecting the natural world needed "doers".

The prince was speaking in his capacity as head of Africa Parks, the conservation group he has been president of since 2017.

A conversation with the duke about the importance of protecting the natural world will be available on WaterBear Network from 1 December.

“For me it’s about putting the do’s behind the say’s, and that is something that WaterBear is going to be doing: capitalising on a community of doers. There’s a lot of people that say, but this is about action,” he said during the interview.

<p>A scene from Chasing Ice, an Emmy Award winning documentary which features on the WaterBear platform</p>James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey

A scene from Chasing Ice, an Emmy Award winning documentary which features on the WaterBear platform

James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey

Prince Harry, who has spent much of the past year in his adopted home of California with the Duchess of Sussex and their one-year-old son Archie, spoke on behalf of African Parks.

The royal also shared his thoughts on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the environment during the discussion with WaterBear chief executive, Ellen Windemuth, and head of strategy, Sam Sutaria.

African Parks was among the 20 leading wildlife organisations which were part of The Independent’s landmark agreement earlier this month on the urgent action needed to avert another pandemic.

The declaration, which was brokered as part of our Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, was delivered to G20 leaders as they joined their annual summit, this year hosted by Saudi Arabia and held virtually.

The Wildlife Conservation 20, or WC20, said in the joint declaration that Covid-19 jumped from animals to people because of humanity’s increasingly unbalanced relationship with the natural world.

“Covid-19 has been a wake-up call to everyone on this planet. Now is the time to value and invest in nature by developing sustainable nature-based economic stimulus packages that embrace a One Health approach and address long-term planetary health, food security, poverty alleviation, climate change, and biodiversity loss and work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals," the group told the G20 leaders in a statement.

“That is why the WC20 calls on the G20 nations to implement greater investment in addressing this critical present imbalance with nature. Otherwise, the natural world, on which we all rely, will not be safeguarded for the long-term well-being and security of current and future human generations, and for all life on earth.”


The WaterBear launch is also being backed by activist and actress, Lily Cole, Game of Thrones star and environmentalist, Maisie Williams, and Dr Mya-Rose Craig, an ornithologist and activist.

Ms Williams said that she was “so excited” to be a leader with the WaterBear Network.

“This truly groundbreaking platform gives us the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with important, educational content focusing on the sustainability of our planet, empowering us to question the status quo and consider how we can contribute to permanent, effective change,” she said.

"The power to save our planet is in all of our hands, and WaterBear is handing us the tools. I am excited to be joining them on this journey to make further change by raising awareness for issues us and future generations face.”

<p>Prince Harry during the launch of a new streaming service dedicated to environmental documentaries</p>WaterBear

Prince Harry during the launch of a new streaming service dedicated to environmental documentaries


The network was named after tardigrades, commonly known as “water bears”, one of the most resilient creatures in the world which can survive in the most extreme conditions, from the rainforest to Antarctica.

The documentaries on the platform are inspired the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and come from more than 80 NGOs including The Independent’s campaign partner, Space for Giants, along with GreenPeace, WWF, Conservation International, Sea Shepherd, the Jane Goodall Institute and African Parks.

One of the originals is Africa’s Hidden Seaforest, the story of carbon sequestration below the ocean, from the filmmakers behind Netflix hit, My Octopus Teacher.

<p>The black jaguar’s Amazon also features on the new, free streaming platform</p>WaterBear

The black jaguar’s Amazon also features on the new, free streaming platform


Anthropocene is a film with cinematic sweep, looking at how the planet has been entirely reorientated by humanity. In the Emmy Award winning Chasing Ice, the filmmakers capture the rapidly shrinking Arctic and the film, Black Jaguar’s Amazon, takes a look at the species’ struggle for survival amid wildfires and rampant deforestation.

In a first, WaterBear not only streams documentaries but the interactive platform allows viewers to connect directly with charities, to donate or become involved in advocacy and volunteering.

Ms Windemuth added: “Nothing matters more to me than training a young generation of talented storytellers to create more inspiration and excitement around those values that will give our children a better future."

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