William and Kate to see effects of climate change in Pakistan glacier visit
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to visit a glacier on the third day of their royal tour to Pakistan.
William and Kate will learn about the effects of climate change on glacial landscapes during the visit to the Hindu Kush mountain range, in the Chitral district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The duke used a speech at the historic Pakistan Monument on the second day of their five-day visit to draw attention to “spectacular” glaciers melting in the area.
“Tomorrow we will be seeing some of these impacts first hand and meeting some of the communities adjusting to the new realities and new challenges that climate change has brought to their towns and villages,” William told a reception on Tuesday evening.
“I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.”
Anticipated to walk around the glacier’s northern tip, the excursion will be the first time the royal couple have seen a melting glacier in person.
The couple hope to highlight the effect of global warming during the visit, which will also see them travel to a village in a valley of Chitral.
Isolated communities in the area have suffered from flash flooding in recent years as a result of the glaciers melting.
While in the Chitral valley, the couple are also due to explore a site damaged in severe floods in 2015, to meet the local community and hear how they are adapting their way of life in response to climate events.
William and Kate are expected to witness a drill conducted by volunteers from the local emergency response team – who are supported by UK aid – which was instrumental in preventing loss of life in 2015.
Before they depart the district, they will visit a settlement of the Kalash people to learn about their community, heritage and traditions.
The royal couple had a busy first day of engagements on Tuesday, which included visiting a government-run school in the capital Islamabad and meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan.
They ended the day at the reception, hosted by the British High Commissioner for Pakistan Thomas Drews, after arriving in an auto rickshaw.