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12 October, 2020 - 22:16 By Tony Quested

FFI joins Prince William in fight to save the planet

Cambridge company Fauna & Flora International has partnered Prince William to launch a multimillion pound global competition designed to unearth fresh ideas that could help to save the planet.

The Earthshot Prize has elected Sir David Attenborough, FFI’s vice-president, as its first member.

The competition draws inspiration from John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which in 1961 united people around the goal of putting a man on the moon within a decade. 

The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’, each a simple but ambitious goal for our planet to be achieved by 2030. 

The Earthshots are: Protect and restore nature; Clean our air; Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world; Fix our climate. The objective is to generate new ways of thinking – as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions. 

Every year from 2021 until 2030, Prince William, alongside The Earthshot Prize Council, will award The Earthshot Prize, worth £1 million, to five winners – one per Earthshot – whose solutions make the most progress towards these goals. 

Prizes could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – scientists, activists, economists, community projects, leaders, governments, businesses, cities and countries – anyone whose workable solutions make a substantial contribution to achieving the Earthshots. The prize cash will support environmental and conservation projects agreed with the winners. 

The UN says we have until 2030 to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions or usher in climatic conditions that could pose a threat to stable societies. The UN also warns that one million species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades if the destruction of nature continues, a level of extinction which would disrupt the proper functioning of ecosystems that humans rely on. 

Prince William 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 10 years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”

The long-term goal is to provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

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