On 15 November ICF President David Henderson Howatt FICFor and Executive Director Shireen Chambers FICFor visited Buckingham Palace for the launch of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC). Hosted by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the reception acknowledged the dedications from 20 countries across the Commonwealth to the initiative.
The Reception was attended by high-profile guests including Sir David Attenborough, Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson and the Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Shawn Richards.
Speaking at the event, Sir David Attenborough said: “Preserving the world’s green corridors, forests, jungles and botanic gardens is the simplest and most effective way to keep breathing life into planet earth. Over my nine decades, I have witnessed the devastating effect of the destruction of our forests and disregard for the importance of trees. I do believe that we have an obligation to nurture and replenish our natural environment for the benefit of our children and grandchildren. I am immensely grateful to Your Majesty for showing great leadership by putting your name to this initiative. I am also pleased to see so many Governments here tonight responding to the call. We all have a role to play. And, in your 90th year Your Majesty, we are fortunate that you are still thinking about the future and how to make this a better world.”
Her Majesty presented a certificate of QCC partnership to the High Commissioners of each of the 20 countries, from Antigua and Barbuda to Zambia, that have dedicated projects to the QCC since it was conceived in 2015. It is anticipated that all 52 Commonwealth countries will have made commitments by the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Spring 2018.
Claire Whitaker OBE, Chair of The Royal Commonwealth Society said: “The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy demonstrates the great potential of the Commonwealth network, as its 52 member countries unite to preserve indigenous forests and wildlife for future generations. Created in The Queen’s name, the QCC will construct a lasting legacy to honour Her Majesty’s service as Head of the Commonwealth.”
On Sunday His Royal Highness Prince Harry will embark on a tour of the Caribbean region where he will unveil QCC dedications in Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on behalf of The Queen. Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge launched British Columbia’s dedication, the Great Bear Rainforest, during Their Royal Tour to Canada in September.