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Prince Charles: Syria Conflict Is Partly Down To Global Warming, World Economic

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The environment is a "significant" factor in the Syrian conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people, Prince Charles has claimed.

The heir to the throne said a drought and the the depletion of natural resources was one of the key reasons for the bitter fighting.

In a keynote speech to Islamic business leaders, Charles said this had been "inexplicably" not reported by the media.

"The tragic conflict in Syria provides a terrifyingly graphic example, where a severe drought for the last seven years has decimated Syria's rural economy," he said.

prince charles

Charles said the drought was a "significant contributor" to the conflict

"Driving many farmers off their fields and into cities where, already, food was in short supply.

"This depletion of natural capital, inexplicably, little reported in the media, was a significant contributor to the social tension that exploded with such desperate results."


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Charles, a fervent supporter of action on climate change, told the gathering of 1,800 political and business leaders at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London that the deterioration of "nature's capital reserves" like water and soils can cause direct impacts on food and energy security.

The Prince said financial institutions needed to treat "natural capital" with the same importance as financial capital for the strain on the planet's natural resources to be eased.

"It is clear from the Koran, and indeed the Bible too, that humanity has a sacred responsibility for the stewardship of the Earth," he said.

"The time then has surely come for our financial institutions to recognise that the Earth is not a limitless resource that can be plundered at will, and to integrate that principle of stewardship into our financial structures."

He said Islamic banking, or alternative banking, could provide the answers where conventional" banking could not, given Islam's emphasis on the "moral economy".