Haizhou is a prime example of how our outreach efforts can change lives. His affair with GGEF started of in 2015 when he attended our Global Green Economic Forum held in Singapore. The forum sparked in him a passion for the environment. It was this desire in him that secured him a place at the International Antarctica Expedition 2016, sponsored by GGEF.
Along with Nhan, a fellow GGEF Youth Ambassador, Hai Zhou went on his maiden voyage to Antarctica. To his surprise, there were people of all ages on the trip – the youngest being 11 and the oldest 70.
“Why let a 11-year-old go for this expedition?” One might ask.
To this, Robert Swan, founder of 2041, answered
“By 2041, this girl will be 36 years old. My hope is that when she is 36, she will still be able to return to Antarctica and share with her family and friends about her experience 25 years ago.”
Truly, Robert’s reply is a timely reminder of why we even bother going on this expedition – To be inspired to preserve it for subsequent generations.
When we think of Antarctica, what comes to most people would be the penguins! There is a tinge of excitement in the air when you see these cute little creatures waddle across the ice. The implementation of the Antarctic Treaty has done these penguins a lot of good. By restricting human activities, it has allowed the penguin population to flourish. Unsurprisingly, they also do not seem to have a fear towards humans that most animals might have.
Haizhou also visited many islands and bays around Antarctica. Some examples include Deception island, Whaler Bay and Brown Bay Glacier.
A journalist by trade, Haizhou also took the chance to do some on-site reporting.
On the last day, there was one last present in store. A sunset wrapped in the most beautiful colors. Truly, a sight worth remembering.
On his return to China, Haizhou began to harness the power of media to spread the word. Via local media sites, his personal WeChat account and other social media platforms, Haizhou related his unique experience to others, hoping to raise awareness about 2041 and climate change. His media buzz enabled him to capture the attention of over 10,000 people.
Additionally, he joined the TEDx & Suzhou convention, using it as a means to reach even more people.
A pebble may be small, but when dropped into the water creates ripples far beyond itself. Climate Change is a global problem, but solving it requires everyone of us to do our individual part in fighting it. Only then will the whole be greater than the sum of its parts.