Twitter / Kensington Palace
Cape Town - With a commitment to conservation, Britain's Prince Harry has formally joined African Parks as its new President.
The appointment was made public on Wednesday, 27 December, in a statement released by Kensington Palace.
African Parks is a conservation NGO, founded in 2000, that manages national parks and protected areas on behalf of governments and in collaboration with local communities across Africa.
With 13 parks under management, African Parks has the largest area under conservation for any NGO on the African continent.
Harry joins his brother Prince William who is working with the Tusk Trust among other wildlife initiatives.
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“We are extremely honoured to have Prince Harry officially join African Parks as our President,” says Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks.
“Prince Harry has had a long history supporting conservation and humanitarian efforts across Africa. He is extremely passionate, committed and knowledgeable about the issues, and is a force for conservation not just for Africa but for the world.
“He shares in our vision, and together, with him in this influential role, we aim to continue to do extraordinary things for the benefit of Africa’s wildlife and the people who live in and around these wild areas,” adds Fearnhead.
Prince Harry’s first experience working with African Parks was in July 2016 in Malawi, where he helped carry out one of the largest elephant translocations in history. He also assisted with translocating a rhinoceros, antelope, buffalo and zebra, and he facilitated in re-collaring three lions with GPS collars to help better protect them.
See this video of his efforts with elephant translocation:
The organisation says that Harry also met with Malawi’s President Mutharika to discuss the country's conservation vision and work of African Parks which manages three parks in Malawi and is responsible for protecting 90% of the country’s elephant population.
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Expressing his gratitude towards being appointed as President‚ Harry says "It is incredibly exciting and I feel optimistic about the future".
His father, Prince Charles of Wales says "We have somehow abandoned our proper connection with nature. Somehow imagined that we can manage without or we battle against her in every way instead of understanding that the future lies in working in far greater harmony with nature."
Robert-Jan van Ogtrop, Chairman of African Parks says Harry will be able to help shine a light on the most pressing and urgent issues wildlife are facing. “Prince Harry will work closely with our Board and Peter Fearnhead our CEO, to advance our mission in protecting Africa’s national parks,” he says.