Abu Dhabi: Three Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD) employees will take part in a voyage to Antarctica as part of the ClimateForce International Antarctic Expedition 2018.
They will fly on February 23 to Usuhaia at the bottom of South America, and board a ship, the Ocean Endeavour, to Antarctica, according to an EAD press release issued on Monday.
The team, aptly named Team Zayed to mark The Year of Zayed, will join teams from over 20 countries for two weeks to learn about climate change and witness first hand the impact of global warming on the continent. They will also take part in the renowned Leadership on the Edge Programme, run by polar explorer Sir Robert Swan, who was the first person to walk to both the North Pole and the South Pole.
Team Zayed will include Mariam Al Qasimi, a communications specialist who also coordinates the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots programme in the UAE; and Rashid Al Za’abi, a mammalogist whose work includes responding to wildlife emergencies, inspecting zoos and monitoring and assessing mammals in the wild. The third one is Winston Cowie, EAD’s marine policy manager who has authored books, produced documentaries and who most recently represented the UAE at the World Cup Rugby Qualifiers in Malaysia. The team will be embarking on a very physically demanding voyage, which will see them endure freezing temperatures and crossing the Drake Passage, considered one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world. Updates on Team Zayed’s journey will be posted on EAD’s social media channels.
In parallel to the team embarking on this journey, EAD, in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute, and Sir Robert Swan’s organisation ClimateForce 2041, recently launched the ClimateForce Challenge. Open to all students in the UAE, the challenge encourages them to reduce their carbon footprint and keep a diary for one month documenting their everyday resource use and environmental behavioural change efforts. Excerpts of the winners’ diary will be included in a film and book that Team Zayed aims to produce upon their return.
“We are confident that Team Zayed will return from their voyage having experienced something special and having gained knowledge and experience from some of the best environmental specialists in the world,” said Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD secretary-general.
It is also very fitting that the team going to Antarctica has been named to commemorate the 100th year since Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s birth — Team Zayed, she said.
Schools or individuals wishing to participate in the ClimateForce Challenge are encouraged to visit www.rootsnshoots.ae for further information.