The following press release was issued last week by the Principality of Monaco’s Ministry of State:
Two high school students from Monaco to visit the Arctic from 2nd to 7th August 2008
The expedition “Students on Ice” – International Polar Year, will bring together 75 young students aged between 14 and 19 of every nationality, over 30 scientists and educators, for a 15-day educational and group adventure (2nd -17th August 2008) aboard a boat travelling along the Arctic Circle.
As part of the educational programme vis-Ã -vis the environment and sustainable development implemented in the Principality, and more specifically for International Polar Year, the Department of National Education, Youth and Sport was eager for 2 students from the Principality to take part in this great expedition leaving from Ottawa, organised by the association Students on Ice, and supported by the Canadian Ministry of Education.
In order to choose the two finalists, a competition featuring 2 categories (an open letter and a photographic diptych) was set up for year 12 students. H.S.H. Prince Albert II looked at the best work and chose the two winning students. Funding has been provided for the trip by two Monegasque sponsors.
The results of the competition are to be announced on Monday 2nd June at 11 a.m. in the school hall of the LycÃ©e Albert I, in the presence of the Commissioner General, the two finalists and those who have made this voyage possible. A presentation of the chosen itinerary and tasks for this exploration will be finalised in detail with the help of the Oceanographic Museum. Upon return from the trip, the two students will present their environmental â€œlog bookâ€ to their classmates.
The key focus of â€œStudents on Iceâ€
The ship-based journey will explore southern Baffin Island, Nunavut and the northern reaches of Nunavik. It will involve 75 international students, aged 14-19. The students will travel on this transformative adventure together with a team of 30 world-renowned scientists, environmentalists and polar educators. This summer’s expedition has the potential to create change, inspire, educate and give cause for hope. We will:
– Focus on the International Polar Year priorities.
– Discuss development in the North such as drilling in ANWR (Alaska National Wildlife Refuge), uranium development in Nunavik and the need for a conservation ethic.
– Build ‘circumpolar’ co-operation amongst northern regions.
– Focus on the role of the Arctic as cornerstone of our planet’s ecosystem.
– Work with and learn from local Inuit to explore how the Arctic shapes Canadian identity.
– Let the youth voice be heard…around the world.
– Inspire future leaders and stewards for our planet…and much, much more.
Never has there been a more critical need to expose the youth of world to what is happening in the Arctic, the “canary in the coal mine” and cornerstone of our global environment, and to inspire them to be future leaders and stewards for our planet. Inspiring our youth, empowering their voice as a vehicle for change, and helping create a needed paradigm shift in our environmental ethos is just part of what we hope to achieve.
Here is a summary of the key Arctic environmental issues:
– Arctic climate is now warming rapidly and much larger changes are projected.
– Arctic warming and its consequences have worldwide implications.
– Arctic vegetation zone are very likely to shift, causing wide-ranging impacts.
– Animal speciesâ€™ diversity, ranges, and distribution will change.
– Many coastal communities and facilities face increasing exposure to storms.
– Reduced sea ice very likely to increase marine transport and access to resources.
– Thawing ground will disrupt transportation, buildings, and other infrastructure.
– Indigenous communities are facing major economic and cultural impacts
See the press release here