Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

Davos 2019: Prince William turns interviewer in appearance with David Attenborough

Davos 2019: Prince William turns interviewer in appearance with David Attenborough

In a brief but passionate interview with HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, celebrated nature documentarian Sir David Attenborough made an impassioned plea to participants of the World Economic Forum to care for the natural world.

"The mechanisms that we have for destruction are so wholesale and so frightening", he warned, imploring leaders to take greater action to protect Earth's precious ecosystems. "The plastic problems in the seas are wreaking havoc on natural life, the extent of which we do not fully know", he said. We can wreck it without even noticing we're doing it.

Asked by Al Gore, who was moderating the event, how serious climate change was and why people had failed to act, Attenborough answered: "I can't imagine anything more serious".

William described it as a personal treat to interview the leading environmentalist, who he has described as a "national treasure".

"To do that we need political and business commitment at the highest level".

"The work to save the planet is probably, largely going to happen on our watch".

Asked by William about the conflict between environmentalism, capitalism and economic success, Sir David said: "Still it is seen by some people that in fact humanity and industrialised humanity in particular is in opposition to the natural world".

Speaking at the World Economic Forum's summit in Davos, Switzerland, the iconic conservationist and documentary maker urged the audience to rethink its approach to the natural world. We can go to the bottom of the sea, we can go into space, we can use drones, we can use helicopters, we can speed things up and we can slow them down.

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Sir David teamed up with the Queen for an ITV documentary past year which looked at the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy project. It's not just a question of beauty or interest or wonder, it's the essential ingredient of human life - a healthy planet.

"Everything we do has echoes and implications across the natural world".

"And if we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves". "And that if we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves".

Sir David said that when he started broadcasting "the notion that humanity might exterminate a whole community of animals was quite foreign".

As Sir David explained how tricky it was for the crew to capture the moment a glacier shed a large chuck of ice during his Netflix series Our Planet, Prince William quipped: 'They're a bit like children, David - unpredictable'.

Sir David was given a Crystal Award at the forum for his leadership in environmental stewardship.

Sir David also alluded to the growing tide of plastic waste filling our oceans.

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