Thursday, 8 January 2009
Svalbard. Wow. It's hard to describe this place, it's so special. To a Norwegian girl, palm beaches and crystal clear waters are exotic. But this Norwegian girl finds it just as exotic to be in polar bear land almost at the North Pole, surrounded with nothing but snow and ice.
I was at Svalbard about a year ago (Feb/March 08). It was a business trip, and one of the reasons we travelled there, was to learn about the effects that the climate changes have on arctic areas. The polar bear, which in many ways is the symbol of Svalbard, is a species that will be very much affected if the sea ice melts too much. Worst case scenario 2/3 of the stand might die.
WWF cooperates with the Norwegian Polar Institute through their Arctic Programme. Four polar bears are being tracked, so that scientists can follow their movement and find out how they are affected by the changes in the area. This project interests people all over the world - even the wine producer Banrock Station in Australia supports the project. After all their motto is "fine wine - good earth".
Read more facts about polar bears here.
Follow the polar bears movement at Svalbard here.
I have just uploaded my article about Svalbard on my website, find it here (in Norwegian). And here is my Svalbard set on Flickr.