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Charles begins tour meeting Chilean president Bachelet

Monday, March 9th 2009 - 09:44 UTC
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HRH Prince Charles HRH Prince Charles

Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Chile Sunday afternoon the first stop of a South American tour that also includes Brazil and Ecuador which is seen as an opportunity for the heir of the throne to emphasize on one of his passions, climate change. The three days visit to Chile begins officially on Monday when the couple will have an audience with President Michelle Bachelet.

Later in the morning Charles and Camilla will attend an event in Santiago marking the launching of Chile’s National Energy Efficiency Campaign. The Prince of Wales will then visit the UN peace-keeping school CECOPAC while the Duchess of Cornwall attends a performance at the Youth Orchestras Foundation.

Their Royal Highnesses will attend a reception at the Prince of Wales Country Club, after which the Prince of Wales will participate in a business round table on climate change. On Monday evening the royal couple will attend a dinner at la Moneda Palace hosted by President Bachelet.

On Tuesday 10 March the royal visitors will travel to Valparaiso where their program includes a visit to the headquarters of the Chilean navy and a reception aboard FF Almirante Condell (former RN HMS Marlborough).

Charles and Camilla will then visit the Emiliana Vineyard for discussions with organic agriculture producers and later the ECO-Pellets fuel plant in Pudahuel.

According to the Chilean press Charles is the last member of the royal family to visit Chile. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip did so in 1968; Princess Anne in 1991; Prince Andrew in 2002; Prince Edward in 2005 and Prince William in 2004.

On Wednesday the couple leaves for Brazil and on Thursday Prince Charles is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech in Rio do Janeiro on the need to tackle global warming which “is more urgent than ever before” and that, even in a global recession, the world must not lose sight of the “bigger picture”.

Aides believe it will echo one he gave in Sao Paulo in 1991 at the start of the last recession, when he warned that caring for the world's long term welfare must not become a “luxury”.

In Thursday's speech, the Prince will warn that a failure to act in the next eight years will have catastrophic effects for the planet.

In the country that is home to the world's largest rainforest, Prince Charles will urge world unity to combat deforestation in the run-up to the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December this year.

He will say there is not necessarily a clash between the needs of big business and the environment. He will argue that being green can be good for businesses and can create jobs. The Prince will say that tackling deforestation in the 3.5 billion acres of rainforest on the planet is a key priority.

The Prince will also visit the Amazon rainforest, the world's largest rainforest, on Saturday. On that same day he leaves for Ecuador and the Galapagos islands.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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