Update: Trekkers depart on North Pole expedition, aim for Arctic Council meeting
Young campaigners will plant flag, declaration on sea bed beneath pole
London — A group of young campaigners set off today on an expedition to help save the Arctic, aiming to also hold an unexpected meeting with a delegation of influential Arctic officials at the North Pole later this week.
Sixteen people, including four international youth ambassadors (1) — Hollywood actor Ezra Miller, two Arctic Indigenous representatives and a young man from the Seychelles — set off from Barneo Base on a ski trek across the sea ice with Greenpeace to the geographic North Pole.
Shortly before setting off, they learned that members of the Arctic Council — the governing body comprised of foreign ministers and senior officials from Arctic states — will also be at the North Pole this week.
One of the explorers, Josefina Skerk, a 26-year-old member of the Sami Parliament in Sweden, sent a letter to Gustaf Lind, Swedish chair of the Arctic Council’s Senior Arctic Officials, requesting a meeting with the Arctic officials. Mr. Lind accepted the invitation and the groups now hope to meet at the North Pole, weather permitting.
The trekkers are carrying with them a time capsule (2) that contains a declaration with 2.7 million signatures calling for the Arctic to be made a global sanctuary. They plan to lower the capsule and a ’Flag for the Future’ through 4.3 km of freezing water to the seabed beneath the North Pole.
“I’m here with three young people from across the world who each have connections to the Arctic and it’s a great honour to deliver our message to the council at the place we all wish to protect for future generations,” Skerk said.
“This will be a really grueling expedition and we’re all a little bit nervous right now. But this is a unique chance for us to talk with the people responsible for protecting the Arctic and we know our supporters around the world would want us to go for it.”
The activists say no one nation should own the Arctic or be allowed to exploit the melting Arctic sea ice, a crisis created by climate change, for more of the fuels that caused the melt in the first place.
The campaigners now plan to use the unexpected meeting with the Arctic Council to challenge the council and put forward their demand that the uninhabited areas around the North Pole be declared a global sanctuary.
Contact / interview requests
Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace International Arctic communications, +44 7896 893 118|
Anna Jones, Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner, +44 7717 311 103
Images can be viewed here and are available in high resolution from John Novis at +31 (0) 629001152 or email@example.com
Various video elements can be downloaded from our publicly accessible ftp server. They include a b-roll package of actor Ezra Miller being trained, profile videos of the three young ambassadors and a video + b-roll package about the ’Flag for the Future’. This can all be downloaded from the following ftp location:
passw: 0utput (first digit is a zero)
 Actor and musician Ezra Miller will be joined by three other youth ambassadors, each with a different connection to the Arctic. Renny Bijoux is from the Seychelles, an island nation that could disappear due to rising sea levels. Josefina Skerk is from the Indigenous Sami community in Sweden and a member of the Sami parliament. Kiera Kolson is a young Tso’Tine-Gwich’in woman from Denendeh, Canada. She works to protect the Arctic with Greenpeace and defends the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
 More information on the construction of the time capsule can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/the-making-of-an-arctic-time-capsule/blog/44627/
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