omersukrugoksu/iStock(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) — Prince Harry is focusing on one of his most important causes, conservation, in the final days of his and Meghan’s tour of South Africa.
“I am personally driven by the desire to help restore the balance between humans and nature,” Harry wrote in an op-ed for the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper. “It is being in Africa that makes me fully understand and appreciate this.”
“Conservation is fundamental to our survival and we must overcome greed, apathy and selfishness to make real progress,” he wrote in the op-ed’s headline.
Harry, who has long been a champion for the environment, also took to social media to make his case, announcing he is guest-editing the Instagram feed of National Geographic on Monday.
The Duke of Sussex’s first post was a photo he took of trees in Liwonde National Park in Malawi, which is part of The Queens Commonwealth Canopy, a series of forest conservation initiatives in the 53 nations of the Commonwealth.
Harry told National Geographic’s 123 million followers that his post is the launch of the “Looking Up” social campaign that encourages people to look up at trees and post their favorite photos using the hashtag #LookingUp.
“#LookingUp is to raise awareness of the vital role trees play in the earth’s eco-system, and an opportunity for all of us to take a moment, to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings,” he wrote. “So, join us today and share your own view, by looking up!”
While in Malawi, Harry also focused on the issue of illegal wildlife poaching, a critical issue in Africa.
He laid a wreath at the memorial of a guardsman who was killed at age 22 while on a joint anti-poaching mission earlier this year and also watched a demonstration of an anti-poaching exercise conducted by some of the British soldiers who have been deployed across Africa in the fight against illegal wildlife poaching.
Harry is traveling solo in Malawi while Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and the couple’s infant son, Archie, remain in Cape Town.
Though Harry and Meghan were apart over the weekend, they still joined together for an event focused on an issue important to both of them: women’s empowerment.
Meghan, 38, appeared via Skype at Harry’s meeting on Sunday with an organization in Malawi that empowers young women’s education. She told attendees that Archie was taking a nap while she joined them.
Meghan also held a series of events on her own in South Africa over the past few days that focused on women’s empowerment.
Last Thursday, she met with a group of South African women leaders in Cape Town to talk about the rights of women in South Africa.
”We can learn a certain amount from the outside, by tracking it through the news, but it’s not the same as being able to truly understand what it’s like on the ground,” Meghan told the women, according to Buckingham Palace. “Much of my life I have been advocating for women and girls’ rights, so this has been an incredibly powerful moment to hear first-hand from all of you.”
“I have been so moved by what I have heard. The leadership and strength shown by these women is remarkable, and at a time when the issue of gender and gender-based violence is at the forefront of people’s minds, I hope their voices will resonate and not only give comfort but also create change,” she said.
Meghan also paid a private visit to the site in Cape Town where Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old student, was murdered last month.
Meghan visited to “pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide,” according to Buckingham Palace.
Meghan and Harry’s next and final stop on their 10-day tour of South Africa is Johannesburg, where Meghan is scheduled to hold two events focused on women’s rights.
The couple will end their tour on Wednesday with joint events in Johannesburg, including a meeting with Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s widow.
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