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Prince Charles warns of ‘sixth extinction event’

In World News on September 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

By Louise Gray

In his first speech as the new President of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund (WWF) UK, Prince Charles suggested ‘surviving ourselves’ should be a priority.

Referring to himself as “an endangered species”, he warned that the world is already in the “sixth extinction event”, with species dying out at a much faster rate than at any time since the death of most of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Despite campaigning for years on global warming, he said climate change was not the only problem but merely speeding up the “rapacious” destruction of natural resources like water, land and food that humans need to survive.

The Prince said if the world carries on “business as usual” then the human race itself could be in danger.

“We are, of course, witnessing what some people call the sixth great extinction event – the continued erosion of much of the Earth’s vital biodiversity caused by a whole host of pressures, from the rising demand for land to the corrosive effects of all kinds of pollution,” he said.

“This is an important point that needs to be stressed more than it is, because its ultimate impact is plainly not at all clear to most people – without the biodiversity that is so threatened, we won’t be able to survive ourselves.”

Alluding to his “spiritual connection to nature”, the Prince said mankind must also protect other species from extinction.

“It may not seem to make much difference economically if the swallows, swifts and house martins no longer turn up each spring, but what would life be like if we just accepted their extinction because their habitats have been destroyed?”

The Prince follows in the footsteps of his father the Duke of Edinburgh who was President of the UK arm of…

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