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Charles, 71, took part in BBC Radio’s Rethink project looking at how the world could change after the coronavirus pandemic. The heir to the throne suggested food shortages prompted many people to think about sustainable supplies and could lead to lasting changes.
Charles told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme: “It appears that most of us have given much more thought than perhaps has usually been the case to the story behind our food during COVID-19.
“Food availability was clearly an early issue; perhaps food shortages prompted many people to think for the very first time about whether they could depend on secure and reliable supplies of food in the post-COVID world?
“I was fascinated to hear that sales of vegetable seeds reached an all-time high as a ‘dig for victory spirit’ swept through the land and urban and country dwellers alike decided to requisition their gardens, allotments and window boxes to grow food in a way perhaps not seen since the Second World War.
“So, with the explosion of interest in local food, in box schemes and online sales, could a transformation of our food and agricultural systems be one of the lasting legacies of this very challenging period in human history?”
Charles, who is known for his campaigning on environmental issues, called on the world to “rethink our relationship with nature”.
He told the World Service’s Newsday programme: “As we rethink our world in the wake of the pandemic, it is increasingly clear that the health and wellbeing of people and planet are inextricably linked.
“With so much opportunity in front of us, let us rethink our relationship with nature and reset for a better future. We have no time to waste.”
Charles also spoke out about the environment on Wednesday in a video message as part of a series of global online lectures and debates in the week in which the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was due to be held in Rwanda.
He urged members to come together to tackle climate change as he reflected on how almost all across the Commonwealth have been affected by the pandemic.
Charles said: “The existing triple threat of rapid urbanisation, climate change and natural resource depletion facing countries across the Commonwealth was already challenging enough.
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“But COVID-19 has dramatically introduced a further threat, placing even greater emphasis not only on the role human settlements play in relation to our health, as well as our environmental, social and economic wellbeing, but also on the vital importance of restoring and enhancing biodiversity.
“Nearly everyone in the Commonwealth will have been affected by this pandemic in some form or another, possibly providing time for reflection on those things that really matter to us, our families and communities.
“Through the inevitable sadness, the losses and the immense uncertainties so many now face, we have also seen the strength of the human spirit, the support and love towards others, the appreciation of place and local community, the cleaner air in our cities, and the way nature has adapted to fill the temporary voids created by the human dominance over the planet.
“Through a post-COVID lens, we can perhaps now see more clearly than ever the acute need for a form of urbanisation and growth that is planned in proper harmony with nature and underlying universal principles, that heals rather than hurts the places where that growth occurs, while ensuring access to key services and opportunity for the benefit of all who live there.”
Charles, who has recovered after catching coronavirus in March, spent much of the lockdown at Birkhall in Scotland with the Duchess of Cornwall, 72.
The royal couple returned to London last week to welcome French President Emmanuel Macron to the UK as he marked the 80th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulle’s famous wartime broadcast.
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