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Prince William calls for climate change action on glacier visit

The Duchess of Cambridge meets women during a visit to a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral Image copyright Samir Hussein/Getty Images

The Duke of Cambridge says more education and political action is needed to tackle climate change, as he visited a melting glacier in Pakistan.

The trip to a remote mountain location in the north of the country came on the third day of the royal tour.

The duke and duchess were shown how the Chiatibo Glacier had retreated rapidly in recent years due to global warming.

Prince William said communities “vulnerable to change” needed more awareness of climate change.

The duke said young people were “starting to get engaged”, adding that a “positive conversation” around the issue was needed.

The couple arrived by helicopter to the Hindu Kush mountain range in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

On a visit to a flood-hit area in the Chitral region, they spoke with a young woman who was named after the duke’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales – and has a son of her own called William.

Princess Diana was visiting the area around the time she was born in 1991, a translator later explained. The woman is now part of an emergency response team of volunteers funded by UK aid.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in traditional dress at Chitral in Pakistan Image copyright Sam Hussein/Getty Images
Image caption The duke and duchess were given a traditional Chitrali hat and cloak as they arrived in the Hindu Kush mountains
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Chiatibo glacier in Pakistan Image copyright Reuters
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On their arrival Catherine was presented with a traditional Chitrali hat – almost identical to one William’s mother received on her visit 28 years ago.

The duke was also presented with a book commemorating his mother’s trip to the area.

Composite image of the Duchess of Cambridge and Diana, Princess of Wales wearing a traditional Chitrali hat Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge wore a similar hat to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1991

Global warming has seen the Chiatibo Glacier in Broghil National Park retreat by some 10 metres a year due to higher temperatures melting the ice.

The first threat from the glacier melting is flooding to communities down stream, while the second is removing the water supply completely – which provides for 200 million people in Pakistan.

Glacier expert Dr Furrukh Bashir said he hoped the duke and duchess’ visit would raise awareness of the issue.

Following their trip to the glacier, the couple remained in the region to meet with communities affected by global warming.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral Image copyright Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Image caption Later the duke and duchess visited a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wear traditional Pakistani headwear as they visit a settlement of the Kalash people on 16 October 2019 Image copyright EPA
Image caption …and donned more traditional headwear
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a settlement of the Kalash people on 16 October 2019 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Several hundred children were present to greet the royal couple
Duke and duchess of Cambridge visit a settlement of the Kalash people Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The duke and duchess learned about the culture and heritage of the area

The couple visited Bumburet, which was destroyed by flooding in 2015.

They also watched an emergency response drill, which included demonstrations of how members of the community carry casualties over a river.

They later visited a settlement of the Kalash people, a non-Muslim minority population, where they watched a traditional dance.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk amongst flood-damaged ruins in the village of Bumburet Image copyright Neil Hall/EPA
Image caption The duke and duchess visited flood ruins in Bumburet
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet an emergency response team in the village of Bumburet Image copyright Neil Hall/EPA
Image caption They also met an emergency response team

In a speech on Tuesday evening, William urged the UK and Pakistan to “work together” amid an “impending global catastrophe” over climate change.

The duke and duchess also met schoolchildren and had lunch with Pakistan’s prime minister and former cricket star Imran Khan, as part of their tour of the country.

The five-day trip was organised at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

All photographs belong to the copyright holders as marked.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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