(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) 2041 expedition to highlight effects of global warming and need to protect South Pole.
Abdulla Alhussam Taha Al Hamri Nana Sherief Badawi Adel Al Tamimi and Boualem Belhadj members of Dewa team pose for a photo before they left Dubai.
Dubai - Leaving behind sunshine pleasant weather and the golden warm sands of Dubai five Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) employees on March 13 embarked on an expedition to one of the coldest and most isolated parts of the world.
From the foot of the Andes mountains in Ushuaia Argentina at Earth’s southernmost part Dewa’s staff joined the 2041 Antarctica Expedition to highlight the effects of global warming climate change and the need to protect the South Pole.
The mission is led by Robert Swan OBE founder of 2041 which works to increase global awareness on the environmental importance of Antarctica. There the Dewa staff will raise the UAE flag. During Dewa’s celebrations of the 43rd UAE National Day last December Lt-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security in Dubai and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer MD and CEO of Dewa handed the UAE flag that will be raised in Antarctica to Mohammed Al Shamsi senior manager of Sustainability and Climate Change at Dewa who is responsible for authority’s mission to Antarctica.
The Dewa team on their mission. — Supplied photos
“The Dewa encourages all initiatives that support its vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility and its strategy to promote environmental awareness protect natural resources and reduce the carbon footprint. The team will gain deep insights on major issues that affect the entire world such as climate change and energy consumption as well as the Leadership on the Edge programme. The unique experiences they will go through will enhance their knowledge and insights which they in turn will exchange with their colleagues families and friends” said Al Tayer.
“On their return the team members will be sustainability ambassadors who will support the initiatives programmes and activities that Dewa will launch throughout the year to raise awareness on the importance of environment protection such as Earth Hour conservation campaigns the Conservation Award. These support the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to reduce energy demand by 30 per cent by 2030 and the Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a smart and sustainable city whose environmental elements are clean healthy and sustainable” added Al Tayer.
The objectives of 2041 align with the Dewa’s strategy to promote environmental awareness protect natural resources and reduce the carbon footprint. The Dewa’s participation in the 2041 International Antarctica Expedition is part of its commitment towards the environment and its efforts to develop its staff to become environment ambassadors to raise awareness on sustainability environment and social responsibility and the need to preserve natural resources for generations to come.
Dozens of Dewa staff were interested in joining the expedition. Applications included writing articles and a two-minute video by each candidate explaining the reasons why he or she wanted to be part of the expedition and what they wanted to achieve after their return. Four men and one woman were selected to take part in the two-week unique adventure.
Khawla Al Mehairi vice-president of Marketing and Corporate Communications at the Dewa said “We provided the necessary training for the expedition team to be ambassadors representing not only Dewa or Dubai but the UAE as a whole. They will raise the UAE flag in Antarctica to underline our country’s commitment to protecting the environment and preserving our natural resources for generations to come.”
The expedition started on March 13 when the team arrived in Ushuaia Argentina. On day two team workshops were held and on day three they left for Antarctica aboard Sea Spirit a vessel approved for polar waters and carries a maximum of 100 passengers. On day 4 they cross the legendary Drake Passage which is a milestone in any adventurer’s personal travel. As they crossed the Drake Passage there were a selection of multimedia lectures about Antarctica that covered the wildlife geology history and geography the importance of renewable energy and how it plays a vital role in the preservation of Antarctica. From day 5 to day 10 the team explored the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. They visited places such as Cuverville Island which is a dome-shaped 250m tall island and the calving glaciers and statuesque icebergs of Neko Harbour. They are now visiting Paradise Harbour which is surrounded by glaciers that dramatically calve into the sea and its breathtaking mountain reflections into clear waters. There they might be lucky and encounter a few minke whales which often seek shelter in this bay. They then pass the Lemaire Channel which is surrounded by near vertical peaks on each side.
On day 11 the expedition will visit King George Island which is the location of the 2041 E-Base the first education station built in Antarctica of sustainable products that runs on renewable energy. There they will have a chance to visit the site of Robert Swan’s 2008 E-Base Goes Live mission where he successfully became the first person in Antarctic history to live for two weeks solely on renewable energy.
Antarctica has no government. Human activities are governed by an international agreement known as the Antarctica Treaty System. Established in 1959 this unique document ensures that Antarctica is used for peaceful and scientific purposes. Under the treaty drilling and mining are banned by the Environmental Protocol established in 1991 and ratified in 1998. This protocol however can be reviewed again in 2041. As this year approaches the 2041 organisation is working to ensure that today’s youth will be in a position to make informed and sustainable decisions in the future protecting this last great wilderness.