Prince William has been criticised for saying that “staggering” population growth in Africa could have a “terrible impact” on the environment.
The Prince was speaking at the Tusk Trust Ball last Thursday. He is a patron of Tusk Trust, which was set up in 1990 to protect African wildlife.
“In my lifetime we have seen global wildlife populations decline by over half,” Prince William said. “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.”
He added: “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.”
Peter D Williams, executive officer of Right To Life, said: “It’s a shame to see Prince William misled to believe that our planet suffers from ‘overpopulation’. It does not. The world is easily able to support food and support for 10 billion people on the planet, as we may have by the end of the century, and even further.
“As Catholics, we believe each human life is precious, and has the potential to affect the world for the better. The real answer to humanity’s problems is to create a better and more just global order, not to blame and attack (whether implicitly or explicitly) the poorest humans on the planet,” he said.
St Mary’s launches tutoring scheme for children in care
A scheme launched by St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London, aims to help teenagers brought up in care to improve their chances in life.
St Mary’s is the first British university to take up the First Star Academy programme, to address the personal and academic development of the 72,000 children in foster care or children’s homes across the country.
Thirty young people aged between 14 and 18 from a range of London boroughs will stay at St Mary’s campus for four summers and attend monthly sessions there during term time. They will receive academic tutoring, life skills training, emotional support and experience of campus life.
Launching the scheme last week, Ruth Kelly, pro vice-chancellor of St Mary’s, spoke of “the virtually intractable problem of how we help to improve the outcomes of children in care and on the edge of care.”
Only six per cent of British children in care go on to university, compared to 45 per cent of their peers.
“The life chances of youngsters who have been brought up in care are significantly worse than for young people as a whole,” said Ms Kelly.