UK's Prince Williams and the world-famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough joined hands to launch the most prestigious environmental award which they hope will become the "Nobel Prize for environmentalism".
Taking World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on their side as a Global Alliance Partner along with Greenpeace, National Geographic, World Economic Forum, UN, and other global organizations, they believe the "Earthshot Prize" is the biggest environmental prize ever. Prince Williams is dedicating $65 million to create this new award, as an effort to inspire 50 solutions to some of the Earth's most pressing challenges.
Prince Williams told BBC that the "positivity" had been missing from the climate debate, but the Earthshot Prize could supply that. According to him, the award is about "harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find some of the world's solutions to some of the greatest environmental problems."
The Most Prestigious Environment Award in the World
Anyone could win the award—they just need to create "brilliant innovative projects" to save the planet. Starting from 2021, the prize will be given to five people, groups, or organization for the solutions to the five "Earthshot" objectives, which are—
Apart from Prince Williams and Attenborough, the prize council includes well-known personalities like Actress Cate Blanchett, Brazilian footballer Dani Alves, Chinese business magnate Jack Ma, former Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, and pop star Shakira.
As per the Earthshot prize website, Prince Williams 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. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth."
World Needs 'Earthshot'
The name of the award was chosen to echo the "Moonshot"—the US project to get the first person on the moon back in the 1960s. Prince Williams and Attenborough believe the idea about Earthshot Prize is similar to that but this time it is global as the world needs to tackle environmental issues.
Attenborough, who has been warning the world about the catastrophes and extinction of species, said that the world has been noticing the death of coral reefs, the disappearance of the forests, and the melting North Pole. He also said the aim is that the prize will provide ideas "that strength, that financial impetus to spread and be developed."
The nominations will open on November 1 this year with an annual award ceremony which will be taken place in a different city each year till 2030—starting with London in 2021. The $1.17 million in prize money will support environmental and conservation projects that are agreed with the winners.
The Role of the British Royals
What Prince William promoting now, is definitely for a good cause, but the question which appears again and again—is he trying to wash the stains of animal cruelty from the British royal family?
The royals who are known for massive hunting activities have been criticized by environmental and animal activists for such practice. A picture of Queen Elizabeth II alongside her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, with a dead eight feet tiger in India, killed by Prince Philip back in 1961 still appears on social media platforms. Back then it was a statement of the royal family's status, but now it is marked as an image of animal cruelty.
The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward has been accused of animal cruelty after losing his temper and lashing out repeatedly at his gundogs with a wooden stick. A few years ago, another favorite royal blood, Prince Harry was accused of animal cruelty after images showed his horse suffered a bloody injury when he was playing a polo match.
But this is not it. Recently a report said that Queen Elizabeth II—who loves hunting as viewers noticed in the Golden Globe-winning Netflix show "The Crown"—faced calls to admit the extent of animal slaughter on her land. As per Vice, the Sandringham Estate, which is her private country retreat in Norfolk, received permission to destroy 1,000 greylag geese eggs across the grounds over 2019 February to 2020 May and to tear down 200 nests each year from 2015 until 2019.
According to the report, the permission was also received to kill 600 of the birds from 2019 February of 2019 to 2020 August as part of attempts to preserve public health and air safety. But the leaked document from Natural England, obtained by animal rights group 'Stop the Cull', the Buckingham Palace has twice received permissions to kill 10 greylag geese every year, also "to preserve public health and safety and air safety."
Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker called on the Royal Family to admit how many animals are killed every year on their lands. "Sadly, it is all too common to associate the Royal Family with animal killing. They must explain why animals are being killed on royal land, and how many," he said. But Prince Williams has taken a new path to change the portrayal of the British Royals.