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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 4 March 2021

Prince William hosts a video call with young environmental activists around the world, including Kuwait

The Duke of Cambridge spoke with seven of this year's Young Champions of the Earth recipients

From top far left, clockwise: Xiaoyuan Ren (China), Vidyut Mohan (India), Nzambi Matee (Kenya), Inger Andersen, Max Hidalgo Quinto (Peru), Prince William, Niria Aliciz Garcia (US), Lefteris Arapakis (Greece), Fatemah Alzelzela (Kuwait). AP
From top far left, clockwise: Xiaoyuan Ren (China), Vidyut Mohan (India), Nzambi Matee (Kenya), Inger Andersen, Max Hidalgo Quinto (Peru), Prince William, Niria Aliciz Garcia (US), Lefteris Arapakis (Greece), Fatemah Alzelzela (Kuwait). AP

Prince William last week took part in a video call with young environmental activists from around the world.

The British royal, 38, spoke with seven representatives from the UN Environment Programme's Young Champions of the Earth initiative, as they told him about the challenges facing each of their corners of the globe and passed on any ideas they have to tackle these issues.

The call, which was chaired by the UNEP's executive director Inger Andersen, also allowed the activists to discuss the response to their projects from their local communities, and how the coronavirus pandemic may be standing in their way.

Britain's Prince William during an international video call with seven young environmentalists from the UN Environment Programme's Young Champions of the Earth initiative. AP
Britain's Prince William during an international video call with seven young environmentalists from the UN Environment Programme's Young Champions of the Earth initiative. AP

On the call were this year's Young Champions of the Earth recipients, including Niria Alicia Garcia from the US; Nzambi Matee from Kenya; Xiaoyuan Ren from China; Vidyut Mohan from India; Lefteris Arapakis from Greece; and Max Hidalgo Quinto from Peru.

Award-winning Kuwaiti waste activist Fatemah Alzelzela, 24, was also on the call. She is an electrical engineer and founder of Eco Star, which comprises a small team focused on the efficient collection of recyclable materials – paper, plastic and metal – who work alongside recycling factories.

Learn more about Fatemah Alzelzela and Eco Star in the video below:

In exchange for the waste, Eco Star works with major agricultural companies to give plants and trees to individuals and organisations in Kuwait, where only 10 per cent of waste gets recycled, according to Alzelzela.

"For the last year, we have also been working on data capture, the first recent study in the field of waste collection and treatment for Kuwait," Alzelzela explains in her Young Champions of the Earth biography.

"To date, we have saved tons of materials from landfill and have covered more than 2,000 waste-receiving operations, including homes, schools, companies and restaurants."

The Duke of Cambridge's interest in environmental concerns expands far beyond such discussions, as, in 2019, the royal unveiled a multimillion-dollar international award designed to incentivise change and help repair the planet over the next 10 years.

The Earthshot Prize, as it's called, will be awarded to five winners per year for the next decade, ideally generating 50 innovative solutions to problems the planet faces by 2030.

Nominations for the first prizes have now closed and are expected to be awarded at a ceremony in London this autumn.

Updated: February 8, 2021 05:55 PM

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