Overpopulation is having a ‘catastrophic effect’ on the natural world, warns Prince William

Prince William at the Tusk Trust gala.

caption
Prince William at the Tusk Trust gala.
source
Peter Nicholls/Reuters

    Prince William has warned that overpopulation had put wildlife “under enormous pressure.” The Duke was speaking at a gala hosted by wildlife charity the Tusk Trust. He is expecting his third child next year.

The world’s rapidly expanding population is ruining the natural environment, Prince William has warned.

Speaking at a gala hosted by the Tusk Trust on Thursday, the Duke of Cambridge said there was “no question” overpopulation had “put wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure.”

The Tusk Trust is a charity that works to protect African wildlife, where William is patron.

He told an audience at The Roundhouse in London:

“In my lifetime we have seen global wildlife populations decline by over half. Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050 – a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month. There is no question that this increase puts wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure.

“Urbanisation, infrastructure development, cultivation – all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now.

“On human populations alone, over-grazing and poor water supplies could have a catastrophic effect unless we start to think about how to mitigate these challenges.

“We are going to have to work much harder, and think much deeper, if we are to ensure that human beings and the other species of animal with which we share this planet can continue to co-exist.”

The Duke also praised global efforts to restrict ivory sales and animal poaching. The UK government announced it would ban almost all of the ivory trade earlier this month.

Prince William is father to four-year-old George and two-year-old Charlotte. He and his wife, Kate Middleton, are expecting a third child in April.

His remarks echoed those of his grandfather Prince Philip, a father of four, who previously said there were “just too many people to feed” due to overpopulation, and advocated “voluntary family limitation” to tackle the problem.