Rotary awards its highest recognition to HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Rotary awards its highest recognition to HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

KIGALI, Rwanda (June 24, 2022) – In recognition of his longstanding focus on nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis, Rotary today presented HRH Prince Charles with its highest honour: The Rotary Award of Honour.

Presented by Shekhar Mehta, Rotary International President 2021-22, at a private audience during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, Mehta expressed appreciation for the dedication of His Royal Highness toward sustainability and biodiversity and noted Rotary’s shared commitment to protecting the environment.

During COP26, the United Nations climate summit held last November in Glasgow, Scotland, the Prince of Wales encouraged environmentalists to seek nature-based solutions to global warming.

“After billions of years of evolution, nature is our best teacher,” the Prince of Wales said. “In this regard, restoring natural capital, accelerating nature-based solutions and leveraging the circular bio-economy will be vital to our efforts.”

Mehta, who at COP26 led a roundtable discussion with Patricia Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, emphasized the critical role mangroves play in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Mangroves sequester large amounts of carbon and also protect against storm surges and coastal erosion, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for aquatic life, among other benefits.

Over the past six years, the Rotary Foundation has supported sustainable, community-based solutions to addressing threats to the environment, directing $18 million in grant funds toward environmental projects. Protecting the environment is one of Rotary’s areas of focus and Rotary clubs are positioned to make a difference in broader environmental efforts, including mangrove restoration.

Over the past six years, the Rotary Foundation has supported sustainable, community-based solutions to addressing threats to the environment, directing $18 million in grant funds toward environmental projects. Protecting the environment is one of Rotary’s areas of focus and Rotary clubs are positioned to make a difference in broader environmental efforts, including mangrove restoration.

“The sea is washing away coastlines because mangroves are disappearing,” said Mehta. “We are losing our ecosystem. Once mangroves die, our marine system and coastal communities will be lost.”

Through pioneering initiatives such as becoming one of the first countries to ban plastic bags, Rwanda is committed to becoming a green, climate resilient and low-carbon economy by 2050 as part of its national development strategy. Local Rotary clubs are taking action towards achieving this goal, having trained over 800 subsistence farms on agroecology and agroforestry methods. They’ve also led reforestation projects, and supported smallholder farmers to access biogas and green cooking energy.

The Rotary Award of Honour was established by Rotary International in 1990 to be given to heads of state and other dignitaries who have made a significant contribution to international understanding and goodwill.

About Rotary:Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.4 million members in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.

CONTACT: Claudia Brunner, Rotary International: claudia.brunner@rotary.org and +41.44.387.7116.