MANGALDAI: Secretary General of Green Guard Nature Organization, Ritu Raj Phukan recently represented India as an official team member on the Climate Force Arctic Expedition to the North Polar region. He was the only person from Assam invited to accompany legendary explorers Robert and Barney Swan and a team of scientists, activists and thought leaders from different climate change impacted regions of the world.
Robert Swan, OBE, was the first man to walk to both the poles and his son Barney Swan is the first person in history to walk to the South Pole powered entirely by renewable energy. The Arctic ice cools our planet and regulates weather patterns; what happens in the Arctic affects us all. Scientists say that the ice is melting due to warming and the Arctic could be ice-free as early as 2030. As a result, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding with floods, droughts, famine and rising sea levels all over the world.
The Climate Force Arctic Expedition empowered the team of 86 persons from 27 countries with resources and actionable solutions to become a part of a global force of change. Rituraj completed the ‘Leadership on the Edge’ programme comprising of environmental leadership development, up-to-date climate change training, and sustainability education.
Earlier, he was a member of the International Antarctic Expedition 2013 and the third person from Assam to have set foot on Antarctica. He also had a book release in the North Polar region, a first for the region, perhaps the only one from the country to have had a book release in the Arctic. The book Fin Del Mundo- Lessons from the End of the Earth, authored by Raj, is about his journey from Assam to Antarctica to learn about climate change impacts in the polar regions and its implications for the people of this region.