The Duke of Sussex is currently the president of African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization that aims to facilitate partnerships between governments and local communities in the management of national parks. The organization recently released its annual report for 2019, in which Harry penned a letter about his own dedication to preserving wildlife.
In it, the British royal touched upon two major crises occurring in the world at the moment: an “extinction crisis” and the coronavirus pandemic. He shared that while “much is still unknown” about the current health crisis, there is preliminary evidence that suggests the novel virus “may be linked to our exploitation of nature.”
The organization, which Harry says now manages 17 parks in 11 countries, has been dedicated to providing solutions to conservation through “security, education, jobs and investments made in local services and enterprises.” He said this has been done by “putting people at the heart of the solution.”
Becoming a father to son Archie has reminded him of the importance of making the world a better and safer place, he said.
“Since becoming a father, I feel the pressure is even greater to ensure we can give our children the future they deserve, a future that hasn’t been taken from them, and a future full of possibility and opportunity,” Harry wrote.
He continued: “I want us all to be able to tell our children that yes, we saw this coming, and with the determination and help from an extraordinary group of committed individuals, we did what was needed to restore these essential ecosystems.”
Prince Harry’s dedication to preserving wildlife, specifically in Africa, is a nod to his late mother, Princess Diana of Wales. Last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex embarked on a 10-day tour of the continent, with stops in Malawi and Angola. While visiting the latter country, Prince William’s younger brother was on site for the reopening of the Huambo Orthopedic Centre after it was named in his mother’s honor. Diana had toured the facility in 1997 at age 36, before her death.
In 2016, Harry invited Meghan to come to Botswana with him after they had just met, and again in 2017 to celebrate her 36th birthday. Botswana was also the country where he, Prince Charles and Prince William went after Diana’s death in 1997 to “get away from it all.”
Additionally, through his volunteering with African Parks, Harry highlighted the organization’s past success in responding to the “devastating weather-related crisis” when Cyclone Idai hit the African coast.
“Homes were destroyed, people were displaced, there were cholera outbreaks and lives were lost,” he continued. “But our Rangers were first in, transporting doctors and medical supplies and delivering food to those in need the most, even before international relief agencies could arrive.”
Last month, Harry and Meghan celebrated Archie’s first birthday in an at-home celebration in Los Angeles. The couple honored their first child’s birthday with an adorable video of the former American actress reading “Duck! Rabbit!” to Archie.
The proud parents wanted to use Archie’s birthday to raise awareness of having books and other learning tools for children during unprecedented times.