The Prince of Wales has "huge ambition" for the activities designed to help bolster the networking and promotion of the finalists of his Earthshot Prize
The details of Prince William's trip to Singapore for his environmental mission are being unveiled.
The Prince of Wales' trip to Asia next month will include the fun of dragon boat racing, a star-studded green carpet at the awards night for his Earthshot Prize and the serious business of combating the illegal wildlife trade.
Prince William, 41, has "huge ambition" for his trip, which takes place over several days, beginning Nov. 5 and including the Earthshot Prize awards evening on Nov. 7. It is the third iteration of the global quest to find solutions to the planet’s environmental problems after last year's awards ceremony was held in Boston.
In tandem with Earthshot, William’s visit will also promote his United for Wildlife campaign that seeks to clamp down on the illegal trade in endangered species.
“The prince is very much looking forward to being in Singapore,” his spokesman at Kensington Palace said at a briefing on Monday. “The prince wants to really seize the opportunity of being in Southeast Asia to build more momentum around the Earthshot winners and finalists and to put their solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges we face firmly on the global map.”
The Prince of Wales will arrive at Jewel Changi Airport on Sunday, Nov. 5, and kick off the events at the HSBC Rain Vortex. This will signal the start of the countdown to the Earthshot Awards ceremony taking place two days later.
Also during the trip, Prince William will take part in dragon boating, a popular local sport that unites both locals and expats from across the Commonwealth.
Central to the visit is the inaugural "Earthshot Week," which will convene businesses and investors with winners and finalists to help accelerate their solutions and ideas.
An unannounced slew of celebrity guests will join Prince William on the green carpet for the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony. It will be broadcast on PBS in the U.S. on Sunday, Nov. 12, with the show produced by Silverback, who makes the famous wildlife programs hosted by Sir David Attenborough.
This year's 15 finalists were picked from a record of 1,100 nominations – a 20% increase. Chief executive of the Earthshot Prize, Hannah Jones, said at the briefing, “Singapore is at the heart of climate action movement in Southeast Asia. The country exemplifies how to leverage technology, capital and human ingenuity to work collaboratively to solve the toughest environmental challenges."
"Singaporeans are researching solutions to protect coastal cities from rising seas, they’re pursuing novel ways to cool down its citizens on a warming planet and positioning themselves as a global carbon market hub," she added.
Alongside the more traditional broadcasters and underlining the prince’s team’s desire to meet young people especially where they are, the show will also be run on YouTube. Jones highlighted how “climate anxiety” was huge among the young, and they are utilizing well-known regional social media influencers to increase that impact.
The prince is also set to attend the United for Wildlife Global Summit. Taking place for the first time outside the U.K., it will bring together global leaders from conservation, law enforcement, government and the private sector to exchange the latest ideas and learnings in combatting the illegal wildlife trade.
Singapore is a key global trading hub, so it is a perfect place for the Royal Foundation, which hosts United for Wildlife, to make its case. Amanda Berry, CEO of the Royal Foundation, told the briefing on Monday, “Southeast Asia is of huge strategic importance to United for Wildlife. [The region] includes countries with both the sources of endangered species as well as transit points for destination markets.”
Prince William heralded his Earthshot Prize during a few days in New York last month. There, PEOPLE revealed, a new book with a foreword by WIlliam, was announced. In A Handbook for Dreamers and Thinkers: Solutions to Repair Our Planet, William underlines his hopes for the Earthshot Prize and explains what drove him to set it up.
"In the 1960s, the world looked to the skies as the great unknown, and the American president John F. Kennedy set a Moonshot challenge...encouraging scientists, innovators and businesses to come together to put a person on the moon," William says in the book's foreword. "Right now, we need to shoot for the EARTH. Our planet is the only home we have, and we must think big and dream bigger if we are to protect it."
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Among those who are already reaping the benefits of cooperation and collaboration and support in scaling up is one of last year’s winners, Notpla. It makes biodegradable and non-plastic fast food packaging using seaweed. Pierre Yves-Paslier says they have been investing in research and development. “It’s been a game-changer for us in terms of the impact,” he told the briefing. He said the fellowship retreat in which all the finalists came together in January and “create bonds that will last a lifetime” and discuss collaborations and cooperation.
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