Harry calls for more protection for vulnerable ‘source of life’ African delta

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The duke is widely expected to tour southern Africa later this year (PA)

The Duke of Sussex has called for the world to save an area of Africa he has described as “this magnificent last Eden”.

Harry’s rallying cry came after he co-hosted a fundraising event for a National Geographic documentary highlighting the vulnerability of the Okavango Delta and its source rivers in Angola.

The duke is widely expected to tour southern Africa later this year and could visit the region of Botswana that is home to the delta.

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Last week, HRH The Duke of Sussex was proud to co-host a fundraising event for National Geographic’s @intotheokavango – a documentary film that highlights the vulnerability of the critical ecosystem that is The Okavango Delta and its source rivers in Angola. The Okavango Delta is the primary water source for a million people and is home to the world's largest remaining elephant population. His Royal Highness has a long-standing love of Africa and a connection with Botswana and Angola for over 20 years. The Duke is grateful to see National Geographic partnering with the Angolan government, @thehalotrust, @africanparksnetwork and many others in protecting this extraordinary habitat by supporting the sustainable management of the river basin's resources and focusing on a conservation economy. HRH – “Millions of people, food security and regional power generation are dependant on these free-flowing rivers. Threats such as uncontrolled fires, the bushmeat trade, unsustainable harvesting of the forest and rapid biodiversity loss are already destroying this incredible and delicate landscape. Known by the locals as ‘Source of life’, this ecosystem is wilderness at its best, playing an absolutely crucial role for the planet, people and wildlife. This is our one and only chance to save this magnificent last Eden.” (Photos: Cory Richards and John Hilton)

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In a post on his official Instagram account the duke said: “Millions of people, food security and regional power generation are dependent on these free-flowing rivers.

“Threats such as uncontrolled fires, the bushmeat trade, unsustainable harvesting of the forest and rapid biodiversity loss are already destroying this incredible and delicate landscape.

“Known by the locals as ‘source of life’, this ecosystem is wilderness at its best, playing an absolutely crucial role for the planet, people and wildlife. This is our one and only chance to save this magnificent last Eden.”

The location of the fundraising event staged last week is not disclosed on the @sussexroyal account but a picture has been posted of Harry holding a microphone as he talks to an audience in what looks like a screening room, with a panel of five people sat nearby.

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Prince Harry with his brother William in a trip to Botswana in 2010 (PA)

Harry last week gave his backing to a £47 million landmine clearing initiative to help rid Angola of the deadly military munitions – a cause championed by Diana, Princess of Wales.

The funds will be used by the Halo Trust to clear 153 minefields in a huge conservation region of Angola, a savannah area that is home to vital waterways that flow into the Okavango Delta.

The delta is one of the largest freshwater wetlands in southern Africa, the main source of water for a million people, and one of Africa’s richest places for biodiversity.

Since 2015, National Geographic Fellow Dr Steve Boyes and an interdisciplinary team of scientists and explorers have been surveying the river system and working to protect the Okavango watershed.

To reach the headwaters the group had to navigated around the minefields in south-east Anglo, remnants of the civil war, and were helped by the Halo Trust.

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