His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales announced pan-Commonwealth commitment to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, on 24 June 2022.
Launched at the Malta CHOGM in 2015 with the vision of creating a pan-Commonwealth network of forest conservation projects that marked Her Majesty The Queen’s service to the Commonwealth and conserved indigenous forests for future generations, the QCC is the first environmental initiative in The Queen’s name.
From an initial commitment by seven countries at its launch, all 54 Commonwealth Member States have now joined the QCC, collectively dedicating some 115 sites and projects around the Commonwealth and conserving more than 12 million hectares of indigenous forests and botanical gardens.
Announcing pan-Commonwealth commitment, The Prince of Wales said: “Throughout her Reign, The Queen has placed, and continues to place, the greatest importance on the common friendship, humanity, and values that all of us share… and I know how grateful she is that, in recognition of Her Majesty’s unstinting service to our Commonwealth family, all Commonwealth Member States have announced that they have now committed themselves to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.”
Conceived by the Rt. Hon. The Lord Field of Birkenhead, CH, PC, DL, of the United Kingdom, the QCC has been led by the Royal Commonwealth Society, in partnership with Cool Earth and the Commonwealth Forestry Association.
The Executive Chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Dr Linda Yueh, said: “The QCC is a truly remarkable example of the Commonwealth taking concrete action to create a brighter, common future for its 2.5 billion citizens. This initiative has seen government and non-government actors come together to conserve a vast range of forest types around the Commonwealth, including several UNESCO World Heritage sites and forests that our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, has visited during her 70 years of service to the Commonwealth. It is a delight to announce this pan-Commonwealth commitment during this momentous year and we look forward to welcoming new members to the QCC as the Commonwealth family grows in the future.”
Lord Field, Co-Founder of Cool Earth, said: “This inspiring project has brought together 54 countries in common cause, with millions of trees being planted as part of the QCC by tens of thousands of Commonwealth citizens. Today, we celebrate this remarkable achievement and create a lasting legacy to The Queen’s unstinting and inspirational service to the Commonwealth.”
Alan Pottinger, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, said: “People and forests need each other, and it is this important concept that lays at the heart of this wonderful initiative. With project sizes varying from those covering millions of hectares to those covering just a few, the QCC demonstrates the ability of the Commonwealth to act together to conserve one of its most important habitats - forests.”