Go South

223101_420830551310172_1391733974_n“The greatest threat to our world is the belief that someone else will save it” Robert Swan (OBE), polar explorer.

This statement sums up my life outlook currently.

We all have the power to work towards making a positive change to our earth and our environment and yet so many people don’t think that their actions can make a difference.

Well you can.

In September I received the news that I had been chosen as one of thirty young people from around the world to travel on an expedition to Antarctica as part of the Antarctic Youth Ambassadors Program.

I will be joining some of the most dedicated environmental campaigners from around the world to witness climate change on the front line in Antarctica and to learn why we need to protect the last remaining wilderness on earth.

It is going to be a two and a half week expedition travelling to the continent by ship from Ushuaia in Argentina and crossing the notorious Drake Passage and I get sea sick kayaking on relatively flat water.

Being chosen as an Antarctic Youth Ambassador has already been a life changing experience.

I cried when I opened the email that carried my acceptance letter, I couldn’t believe that I was worthy of being in the company of thirty of the most dedicated young people in the world.

The expedition is going to show us the effects of climate change in Antarctica and why we need to act NOW to protect the last pristine wilderness on earth.

In 2041 the Antarctic Treaty is going to expire, this treaty is what is currently stopping anyone from mining or drilling in Antarctica.

If the treaty is not renewed then mining companies will no longer have any sanctions placed on them and will be able to freely exploit the continent which will have disastrous results.

There is so much we still don’t know about Antarctica and the wildlife that calls the icy continent home and I firmly believe that mining has no place in the Antarctic.

Look at the disastrous effect it has had on the Arctic?

Whilst it is not the same situation it is a parallel that can be drawn, with very little regulations placed on companies they are simply doing what they want without having adequate safety precautions in place.

In becoming an Antarctic Youth Ambassador I am pledging to campaign, to write and to work towards the protection of Antarctica and the renewal of the Antarctic Treaty by all member states in the year 2041.

In order to further raise awareness about Antarctica and the need to protect it from mining and exploitation the ambassadors are going to work on projects that not only raise awareness about the continent but promote renewable energy and sustainable living as a way of ensuring that mining is no longer an attractive option in the year 2041.

I order to attend the expedition I have been fundraising and gaining sponsors like crazy to try to raise twenty thousand dollars for the ship fees, insurance, gear and everything else that will need to be on board for the two and a half week expedition.

I have been lucky to gain the support of many sponsors and although I still need more sponsors to make it the generosity and support has been overwhelming.

It is expensive, but this expedition I know is going to be life changing for me.

To actually see the last untouched wilderness on earth and to learn from so many other young people their stories about what they are doing about climate change and how it has already effected their lives I know if going to change me.

I have actively writing about the environment and climate change and volunteering with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition for over two years now and I feel that the expedition will hopefully give me a new direction in which to travel in regards to working on this issue.

After the last few months of fundraising and living on the other side of the country in Sydney, I have realised that I actually am not sure what I want to do anymore in life.

This is both scary and comforting at the same time, but I do know that I am going to Antarctica and that I will learn more there than I can even imagine.

After the expedition who knows where I will go or what I will do but I will be working on protecting the environment in any way I can and hopefully documenting it in some form along the way.

“As the last unspoilt wilderness on earth, Antarctica is currently protected by a treaty prohibiting drilling and mining until 2041. Decisions made by today’s youth will impact our entire planets ecosystem and the future of life on earth” Robert Swan.

If you want to join me on my expedition travels then you can check out the expedition blog here

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