Within our reach is the creation of the largest sanctuary on Earth. So vast it defies our imagination. So majestic it captivates human humanity. The icy heartbeat of our planet-The Antarctic. What happens here affects all life on Earth.
Yet time, which one seems so infinite, is no longer an ally to this magical kingdom. As the deadly embrace of our changing climate warns the rest of the world, the freezing spell cast here by time is being undone.
But from the Ashes of fear, the possibility is born. Let the story of this fabled land be a tale for the ages. I seek your help as I have been chosen as a climate force ambassador from India. I will undertake a journey to the last natural wilderness on the greatest conservation act in human history- The protection of Antarctica .
It has been three years since I left the comfort of my home to work with an environmental impact startup PHOOL. We work on creating consumer products from floral and Agri waste which would otherwise be dumped in the river Ganga. In my time here I have firsthand seen the ugly effects of climate change and how we the human race have contributed to the acceleration of this deterioration.
My interactions since then with climate activists, industry leaders, and the communities affected by climate change have led me to believe, our only hope for a better tomorrow for our kids is awareness and action.
For the past two years, I have been reading about climate change and seeking opportunities to enhance and amplify my knowledge and bring more people into the fold of climate action. A year ago, I came across Mission 2041-A foundation that aims to inspire, develop, and train the next generation of leaders to promote a more sustainable future. I most certainly knew that I wanted to be a part of this expedition that would help me gain global exposure and also give me a stage to voice my opinions about climate change and sustainable living.
As much I heard about it, I knew getting in would be next to impossible. With an acceptance rate of less than 3 %, 70+ countries, and 1.5 lakh applicants, I enrolled for the Lote program. Hoping my application would even be accepted, I finally got a call from Sir Robert Swan. Yes! The man himself. The only person to go on an unassisted march to both the poles of our planet and come out alive!
Elated to share that after 8 rounds and 4 personal interviews, I was finally selected for the program. What is even bigger is that I was officially named as the “Antarctic Ambassador from India”
That’s right- at 23 years of age, I will be setting foot on the Last great wilderness of this Planet.
What I seek is your support financially and mentally to be able to complete this mission, with that in mind I would like to shed some more light on my candidature for your consideration :
What is Mission 2041 and who is Robert Swan?
Mission 2041 is an initiative that aims to garner enough support to ensure Antarctica remains the last great wilderness on Earth it is today, well before the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty — which bans mining activities in the region — the Madrid Protocol protecting Antarctica from exploitation would come up for debate in 2041. The ClimateForce initiative is a 7-year commitment to clean up 360 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere through strategic offsetting partnerships.
As the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, Robert Swan(OBE) has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy, and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.
Swan has served as Special Envoy to the UNESCO Director-General and as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Youth. In recognition of his work, Her Majesty the Queen awarded him the high distinction of OBE, Officer of the Order of the British Empire and the Polar Medal. 2041’s mission is to build on Swan’s dedication by informing, engaging, and inspiring the next generation of leaders to take responsibility, be sustainable, and know that now is the time for action in policy development, sustainable business generation, and future technologies.
But Why Antarctica :
Antarctica is central to any discussion about anthropogenic climate change. The continent, a largely pristine wilderness that belongs to no country, is not only home to a wide range of fauna and marine species, but it also contains approximately 90% of Earth’s ice and roughly 70% of our planet’s freshwater.
I wish not to recall the massive anomalies in day-to-day life we have experienced from forest fires, rising temperatures, irate winters, and temperature changes we all now consider normal. Scientists have warned for years that a warming climate will lead to more weather extremes. Yet the frequency and severity of these events raise unsettling questions: could we be entering a period of non-linear climate change, where temperatures and extreme events do not increase smoothly as expected but instead come suddenly, more often, and perhaps more powerfully? And if we are, how would we know?
For decades, the effects of climate change have been more and more visible in the Antarctic: glaciers and ice shelves such as the Larsen B melting and breaking off prematurely, sea ice disappearing, critically disrupted ecosystems, and food chains. If these patterns are allowed to continue unchecked, the resultant sea-level rise alone in the next century would lead to catastrophic, absolutely unimaginable changes to our world, our coastal cities, and our populations.
My vision and Goal:
Fascinated by the no-trace policy, I aim to implement it in businesses across India. My first goal is to implement it in small growing businesses across India. Working in a tier 3 city that is a hub for small manufacturing units, I believe localized frameworks will go a long way in shaping our climate action response. The primary aim of going through this grueling journey is to document and educate my fellow Indians and Youth Leaders about the proactive action we need to take for a better tomorrow.
In that regard, I have divided my post journey outreach program into a 5-step plan.
1. Educate: I will conduct talks and give speeches at various universities across India. I will run campaigns on social media and also document my work in magazines, newsletters, and articles.
2. Appoint: At the university stage, I will appoint students and groups as campus ambassadors who will further spread the message and conduct various drives for the communities/ colonies at local levels. These drives will include stewardship events and awareness drives that would encourage more people to come forward and contribute towards a sustainable future
3. Distribute: With a reach of more than 10000 students across India, the idea is to spread awareness and encourage the youth to participate in such programs and expeditions. The youth of India must make progress in the field of adventure sports with an angle that supports eco-tourism.
4. Mentor: For the candidates that enroll for such expeditions and programs, I will personally mentor and guide them in achieving their goal/mission.
5. Result: The active participation will not only show the participation of Youth in various international expeditions but will encourage brands and companies in contributing towards such programs
Where would your funds be utilized?
It’s true that going down south is as difficult as climbing Everest, what is even more difficult is raising money to reach there.
This once-in-a-lifetime journey to Antarctica requires huge investments of time and money. The program costs are a little high, and it is up to me to cover 20 Lakhs for program costs. Your donation doesn't "just" help send me to Antarctica - it helps me grow as a human, and as a leader through the yearlong training program.
While I have managed to raise 50% of expedition costs through sponsorships and in-kind donations from brands, I am short of the other 50 %. So, here is where I need your help and support. Any amount you can donate will help me reach a step closer to my goal. I have attached a breakdown of how your donation funds will be utilized during the course of my expedition.
I wish to take you with me, I wish to make you a part of my vision.
And how will that be done!?
I'm going to hone my skills to lead my generation and the next towards a better future by learning how to be visible, speak the message to a broad audience, lead for the future, and collaborate with other amazing climate change leaders before, during, and after the program. I wish to start with you.
These donations will help me understand the widespread ramifications of climate change and the devastating effects waste can create. After the expedition, I would like to immediately start working on documenting our environmental impact numbers and understand the leakages. I am really fascinated by the no trace policy and would like to see how it can be applicable to a growing business in India.
While we get to hear of these concepts only when large billion-dollar companies think of it, I believe small businesses too can have a compounding effect on climate change if we can make this approach a part of their policy. Working in a tier 3 city that is a hub for small manufacturing units, I believe if I can build some localized frameworks that would go a long way in shaping our climate action response.
Video links for reference: 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB78Za5nT4Y
About me: Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anup-misal-815b32136/
*during neft fund transfer, account type: CURRENT