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Britain’s Prince Charles says circular economy powered by nature crucial for recovery

"Current crisis is just another wake-up call"
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Britain's Prince Charles sits in a drawing room facing the camera
Britain’s Prince Charles addresses the Nature at the Heart of a Circular Bioeconomy digital forum hosted by CIFOR-ICRAF. CIFOR/screenshot

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The crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic offers a chance to shift from a fossil-fuel based economy to a nature-based circular bioeconomy, said Britain’s heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles on Friday.

Speaking at the “Nature at the Heart of a Global Circular Economy” digital forum hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), Charles said the world should seize the opportunity provided by the global economic slowdown to adopt a renewable, regenerative and inclusive paradigm that supports biodiverse and resilient ecosystems.

“We must recognize the true value of biodiversity and the fundamental interdependence of all living things,” he said. “We must invest in nature as the true engine for a new economy — a circular bioeconomy that gives back to nature as much as we take from her in order to restore urgently the balance we have so rashly disrupted.”

The Prince of Wales has been a staunch advocate for environmental causes for more than 50 years and leads the Sustainable Markets Initiative he launched at the World Economic Forum last year.

The goal of the initiative is to support an informed transition to a climate-neutral, inclusive circular bioeconomy through a multi-stakeholder approach.

A conceptual framework, the circular bioeconomy uses renewable natural capital to provide ecosystem services, emphasizing the sustainable management of biological resources.

“It’s not a lack of capital that is holding us back, but rather, the way in which we deploy it,” Charles said.

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