Polar explorer, Robert Swan, OBE, brought his passion for protecting the environment to the Higher Colleges of Technology in Madinat Zayed during a recent tour.
He came to inspire students to support the cause of his organization “2041.com”. The world treaty which prevents resource grabbing in the South Polar region is due to expire in 29 years unless an agreement can be reached to extend the moratorium. The British explorer also asked for student volunteers to join other young people on an expedition from Chile to Antarctica in the coming months. On the expedition, students will do something real to protect the world.
When he was young, Swan was the first man to walk to both the South and the North Poles and on these journeys he saw the damage being done to the environment by global warming and human activity in these largely uninhabited areas of the world. It sparked his life long campaign to ensure the survival of Antarctica as an unexploited wilderness.
Accompanying him was Zeina Abdo, an Abu Dhabi-based mother of two who now works with the 2041 campaign. “Robert helped me understand how powerful nature is, but also how powerful we can be in protecting the environment,” she explained after describing how she had joined other young women from the GCC on a previous expedition.
A number of Madinat Zayed women students were anxious to submit applications to be considered for the next expedition.
Successful applicants will travel by ship from Chile to Antarctica and there they will spend their time working to preserve the environment and raise awareness of the many threats to the survival of this vast wilderness.
Currently, the biggest threat to the region is from global warming and during his presentation, Swan made the point that we can’t wait for the politicians to agree on how best to respond to global warming. “We need to act now, before it is too late. The ice is melting fast and seventy percent of the world’s fresh water is frozen in it. The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”