Prince William arrived in Singapore for the Earthshot Prize awards, which was held in Asia for the first time.
Singapore welcome: Prince William was warmly welcomed at the Changi Airport on Sunday by Singaporeans waving British flags, whom he took pictures with and signed autographs for. William stood before a stunning view of the 131-feet-high Rain Vortex — the world’s largest indoor waterfall — and was also honored with a tree planted in his honor at the foot of the waterfall.
Singapore was chosen as the host for the awards ceremony due to its role as an innovation hub in Southeast Asia. The heir to the British expressed his admiration for the nation’s commitment to environmental innovation.
“It’s fantastic to be back in Singapore for this year’s Earthshot Prize ceremony, after eleven years,” he said in a statement upon landing, according to ABC News. “Singapore’s bold vision to be a leader for environmental innovation sets the standard for others to follow.”
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Earthshot Prize Award ceremony: The Earthshot Prize, launched by Prince William and his Royal Foundation charity in 2020, aims to support innovators with solutions to combat climate change and protect the environment.
At Tuesday's ceremony, five winners were chosen from a shortlist of 15 finalists by William and the Earthshot Prize Council, which is chaired by former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, and announced at the Theatre at MediaCorp. The judging panel also included Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, activist Ernest Gibson and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, among others.
The star-studded ceremony, which was hosted by actors Hannah Waddingham and Sterling K. Brown, featured notable figures, including Earthshot Prize council member Cate Blanchett and wildlife conservationist Robert Irwin. The event also had musical performances from Bastille and OneRepublic.
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2023 Winners: The Earthshot Prize winners, which were selected based around five different environmental goals, are Protect and Restore Nature (Acción Andina from Peru), Clean Our Air (GRST from Hong Kong), Build a Waste-Free World (S4S Technologies from India), Revive Our Oceans (global organization WildAid Marine Program) and Fix Our Climate (global organization Boomitra).
S4S Technologies, the Indian agritech start-up, uses solar-powered dehydration equipment to reduce food waste and help farmers process excess crops into longer shelf-life products. As for GRST, the start-up developed a new process for making and recycling lithium-ion batteries, which contributes to cleaner electric cars in the future.
The winners’ prize: Each winner received a million pounds ($1.2 million) to scale up their projects for global impact in the categories of nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination and climate change. The recognition will enable the winners to further their impactful work in environmental conservation and innovation.
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“I choose to believe that future generations will look back on this decade as the point at which we globally took collective action for our planet — the moment we refused to accept the voices of denial and defeatism, and instead became the architects of change towards a healthy and sustainable world,” William said during the ceremony, according to CNN.
William meets with leaders: During his visit to Singapore, Prince William also met with Singaporean leaders, including President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He also participated in dragon boating on the Kallang River. William will also reportedly meet with local organizations working on environmental protection and attend the United for Wildlife summit, which focuses on combating the illegal wildlife trade.
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