Search Results for Tag: Youth
“Beyond penguins and polar bears”
Beyond penguins and polar bears is a website you have to look at for the pictures alone – as well as understandable information on polar issues.
It’s actually an educational website for teachers. I found out about it because it has just won a science prize for online education SPORE
The idea is to use the appeal of penguins and polar bears to get kids interested in science. But there ‘s a lot of background on there for us adults as well.
DateFebruary 22, 2011 | 9:32 am
“Global Contact” in the Town on the Icefjord
Ilulissat was once a small trading post. Nowadays it has 4,500 inhabitants, and the number is growing rapidly.
You can smell fish in quite a few parts of the town. Fishing is the number one industry
It happens on a commercial scale, particularly for halibut and shrimps. The town has a shrimp processing factory. The fish factory has moved further south, and people tell us the trend is increasingly towards factory ships, which process the fish as they’re caught.
Administration is the 2nd biggest employer. Ilulissat is the centre for a huge area around it, going right up to Quanaag in the far north. Tourism is the 3rd factor. It’s growing, but currently suffering from the world economic crisis. There are actually very few tourists in the town right now. The town still feels like boom-town, and the civil engineer tells me all the building work is the rush to build new houses for the growing population in the very short building season, before everything has to stop for the winter in October.
Ilulissat’s main attraction are the icebergs, floating in the fjord after breaking off from the Kangia glacier or Jakobshauen, which was the Danish name for it and the town. This is the most “productive” glacier in the northern hemisphere, discharging ice from the inland ice sheet into the sea at a tremendous rate. More about that later. The constantly changing panorama of icebergs of all different shapes and sizes creates the very special identity of Ilulissat.
The icefjord was added to UNESCO’S World Heritage List in 2004 because of its dramatic beauty and its unique glaciological characteristics. The organisation has now opened an office in the town that keeps an eye on it and supports measures to protect it – with a little help from friends like the volunteers brought here by a group called MS.
Lars from Germany and Martin from Switzerland are two of a group of 10 young people spending their summer holidays as volunteers here. They’ve helped organise a traditional music festival in one of the remote northern towns. Now they’re helping Naja Habermann, who runs the UNESCO office, to mark the hiking paths – like the one that took me along the ice fjord yesterday – which help people appreciate the natural beauty of the region without having too much of an impact on the countryside. These are the people who spend the day walking the paths and painting the markers. More power to you folks!
Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, “ms act!onaid denmark” is the ngo that brings them here, with its “global contact” programme. They come from a variety of European countries. When I asked them why they do it, Lars and Martin both told me they want to do something more meaningful than lie on a beach all summer, and they’re keen to get to know other peoples and cultures. They also see it as a unique opportunity to get to a remote region of the world they would otherwise fail to see. I asked them whether climate change was important to them, against the background of this glacier discharging icebergs at an increasing rate. While they both said this hadn’t been their reason for coming here, they are very concerned about what’s happening and feel strongly the industrialised west should reduce emissions and its footprint. Talking to young people in Greenland, they found it interesting to hear a different view here. Awareness of the problems is not so high – and some of the people they talked to were happy about being able to grow more food in southern Greenland.
Caroline (right) and Sisse are coordinating the project, both here on a voluntary basis. They’re committed to promoting intercultural dialogue and bringing young people from different backgrounds together to work on projects like protecting the world’s heritage.
“It’s a dog’s life” in Ilulissat. Sled dogs have enforced holidays at least until October.
DateJuly 30, 2009 | 11:18 am
World Youth Day – Good for the Climate?
It’s World Youth Day today. I know, it’s always the World Day of Something. But this is one of the ones I find potentially influential – especially since the motto is “Youth and Climate – Time for Action”. Couldn’t agree more.
(“Young ambassadors” from the Climate Change College finding out about climate change and its effect on the Inupiat in Arctic Alaska.)
UN Secretary-General put out a message (how many of you young visitors to this blog have actually seen it?) calling on young people to come up with brilliant ideas and put a major effort into securing the future of the planet. Of course you don’t need to be the head of the UN to see that the younger generation are going to have a tough job on their hands dealing with the effect of climate change caused by human behaviour.
I’d like to use World Youth Day as an opportunity to draw your attention once again to some of the young folk who are concerned about the climate and running their own projects to do something about it.
Here’s a link to the Climate Change College.
Youth in Action to Save the Climate
There’s some great new stuff on the website. Some of these dedicated young professionals will also be making an (audio-) appearance on our environment programme this week, talking about their projects.Young Climate Activists on Living Planet
And another effect of these “World Something”-Days is that our current affairs colleagues are also running a story about all this.
Youth for Climate Campaign on Newslink
DateAugust 12, 2008 | 3:37 pm
The Polar Bear and the Prime Minister
Still we are here in the Arctic, the place which occupies one sixth of the Earth’s surface.
And so many things have happened since the last time we blogged.
Actually the things that you would most expect to experience in the Arctic happened to happen to us.
We saw him, the big white fluffy one – as our guide always uses to say. The polar bear. It was an unbelievable experience which we will probably never ever forget until the rest of our lives. Another unbelievable fact that the head of the WWF Arctic program had told us in the morning in his lecture is that if we don’t take action on climate change now and all the ice will melt the polar bear is not going to be able to live in the arctic regions anymore. Until 2040 two thirds of the polar bear population will have vanished. We should not let this happen.
In the afternoon we still had a lot of other great “arctic-experiences” like seeing a walrus and having a zodiac trip in between a lot of sea ice and glaciers. Incredible how beautiful this is.
Today we were taught how to talk to climate change critics.
Some people might try to tell you that: “Global warming is natural. There have already been a lot of other times in the Earth’s history where the same thing happened just as now.”
Here is what you might answer him: ”You are absolutely right that there have been changes in global temperature over time! But what is happening with our planet at this moment is definitely not natural. The speed of increase in greenhouse gas emissions is unprecedented and we know that these are man-made. If we burned all he fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal it would take the Earth’s natural system 100,000 years to store the carbon we have blown into the atmosphere.”
At the end of our trip we were planning on meeting the Norwegian prime minister. Unfortunately he told us that he will not have time to meeting us the day we will be back in Oslo. So we were thinking about ways how we can try to convince him to give us some of his time.
Dear Jens Stoltenberg,
We are the students of WWF’s Voyage for the Future, a 10-day boat voyage in Svalbard, Norway. We represent nine countries with vested interests in the Arctic. We have come together because we are concerned about the many issues regarding the Arctic region, including climate change. On our trip, we have come face to face with these problems and discussed many potential solutions that we would like to share with you.
You take a break for summer. Climate change does not. This summer, Arctic sea ice levels are predicted to be the lowest in history by far. Youth in every corner of the world consider climate change to be the defining issue of our time. Thank you so much for your help so far in tackling the climate crisis, particularly your pledge of 15 billion NOK to end deforestation. We propose a meeting with you to discuss your continued role in a sustainable future on Friday, June 20th, before we return home to our respective countries. Would you prefer a meeting for breakfast or lunch? Thank you for your time.
The WWF Voyage for the Future:
Maria Waag – Norway
Karl Oskar Teien – Norway
Evanne Nowak – Holland
Michiel Jansen – Holland
Greta Hamann – Germany
Johannes Barthelmess – Germany
Emma Bierman – United Kingdom
Casper ter Kuile – United Kingdom
Jeremy Brammer – Canada
Jayme Collins – Canada
Sven Heijbel – Sweden
Nanny-Maja Anderback –Sweden
Ekatarina Levitskaya – Russia
Dmitry Vladimirov – Russia
Yuriko Murakami – Japan
Shunta Takagi – Japan
Ben Wessel – United States
John Monaghan – United States
If you want to see our open invitation to the prime minister (which is pretty cool though) check out this video. We want to reach as many people as possible. So be part of our climate change movement!
LINK ZUM VIDEO:
DateJune 17, 2008 | 9:34 am
Ship, Snow and Svalbard
Our first day onboard of the ship „Aleksey Maryshev”:
In the morning Dr. Martin Sommerkorn a WWF-scientist gave us some interesting facts about “Arctic and global warming”. For example the arctic permafrost stores large amounts of methane. If the permafrost would keep on melting this would cause big problems for our planet, because methane is about 22 times worse for our climate than carbon dioxide.
Although the facts are quite important to understand the topic “global warming” a walk to a snow-covered mountain was my today’s highlight.
After going off-board by zodiacs-boats we had a walk to a snow-covered mountain. While walking we saw some reindeers running on the snow, admired a young seal swimming just in front of us und had a great view over several glaciers.
This nature we, the 18 “Ambassadors for the Future”, want to be saved by the whole world by combating global warming. Therefore I say to you: let’s act together now in order to conserve our unique planet!
Bye for now!
PS: If you want to have some more information about our trip go to Voyage for the Future (in German!)
DateJune 13, 2008 | 11:44 am