Prince Harry speaks out about conservation: 'We must overcome greed, apathy, and selfishness'
The Royal Family

Prince Harry's royal tour of Africa must be eye-opening. The royal recently wrote an essay published in The Telegraph stressing the importance of conservation, calling out the problem for what it is. "I have no problem in admitting that we are all part of the problem in some way, but a lot of us simply aren't aware of the damage that is being caused," wrote the Duke of Sussex.

Prince Harry details the consequences of neglecting and ravaging the environment. "Rivers and deltas have been overfished in an unsustainable manner - mainly to sell to neighbouring countries who have out-fished their own stocks. This only benefits the few who are selling them and leaves the communities that depend on them with nothing," Prince Harry wrote. West Africa loses an estimated $1.3 billion to illegal fishing each year. Senegal alone loses $300 million to the practice, which accounts for 2% of the country's GDP.


On the land, Africa's animal population is also in danger. "Elephants and rhinos are being poached towards extinction while funding international crime, and the bush meat trade is destroying what's left of the collapsing biodiversity that is so critical to remaining intact," he wrote. He's not wrong. In 1930, the elephant population of Africa was an estimated 10 million. Now, it has dwindled to 415,000 elephants.

While humans have been the cause of the problem, they're also the effect of the problem. A reduction in the environment of a region results in a scarcity of food and jobs for the local people, and the people who live on the land don't benefit from the land. "They currently don't have alternatives to provide for themselves; it's survival, but it's not sustainable in the long run, so at what cost for the next generation?" he posited.

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Prince Harry wasn't just doom and gloom. We can fix the problem, and he had some ideas. "From what I've seen on the ground, it is when communities are incentivized to safeguard and manage their natural assets — be it water, trees, or wildlife — that everyone benefits," he wrote. "The natural order is restored and the symbiotic relationship between humans and wildlife is re-balanced. This may well sound hippy to some, but we cannot afford to have a 'them or us' mentality."

Prince Harry concluded his essay with a powerful reminder conservation isn't just for a select few, like members of the royal family — conservation is for everyone. "Conservation used to be a specialist area, driven by science. But now it is fundamental to our survival and we must overcome greed, apathy, and selfishness if we are to make real progress," he wrote.

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The royal doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Prince Harry recently unveiled a new conservation in Angola. The Luengue-Luiana National Park will join the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, a network of conservation initiatives. The park will protect an ancient elephant migration route. "The country was once home to over 200,000 elephants before the civil war," wrote the palace. "The hope is to create 'corridors' through the forest to encourage elephants to return to the region safely." Angola's elephant poaching rate is one of the highest in Africa. Hopefully, that will change.


Prince Harry also took over National Geographic's Instagram account, posting his personal photos of African trees captioned with conservation messages.

It's great that Prince Harry is lending his voice to raise awareness for the issues that face Africa. However, you don't need to be a member of the royal family to care about the world we live in. The great thing about conservation is that anyone can do it, no matter what your lineage is.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Sikh hikers tied their turbans together to make a rope.

One of the primary tenets of the Sikh faith is "sewa," or selfless service. We have seen sewa in action in Sikh communities organizing to feed the hungry and rallying to help stranded truck drivers, but sometimes opportunities to practice selfless service pop up in unexpected places.

According to Maple Ridge News, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue received a call at around 6:00 p.m. on October 11 alerting them that two hikers were in trouble just above the Lower Falls at Golden Ears Provincial Park in British Columbia. The manager of the search and rescue, Rick Laing, told the news outlet that one of the men had fallen into the pool above the falls and was struggling to get out.

But before the rescue team got there, a group of five male hikers were alerted to the stranded men and took the matter into their own hands—and heads. The hikers were Sikhs and were wearing the traditional dastaar (turban)—a piece of cotton cloth up to six yards long wrapped around the head.

"We were trying to think how we could get them out, but we didn't know how to," Kuljinder Kinda, one of the hikers, told NBC News. "So we walked for about 10 minutes to find help and then came up with the idea to tie our turbans together."

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."