Shouting it louder: Climate Change, UNDP Samoa MCO and Pole to Paris

Jul 15, 2015

Dan found some time in Bangkok, Thailand to offer riding lessons to his younger fans. Photo credit: Pole to Paris.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to be given an opportunity to generate something new. To create something that will not only engage others, but will also inspire others. For a small group of young environmental and social scientists, this opportunity is the Pole to Paris initiative. 


Pole to Paris was created out of an aspiration for a brighter and sustainable future. It’s goal - to engage discussion globally regarding climate change and take these voices to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France. 


The campaign follows two scientists as they travel from the poles to Paris by bicycle and foot. This journey will be documented in a video series, beginning with the impacts of climate change at the poles and highlighting the consequences globally.  


In 2014, the concept was pitched to the UNDP office in Samoa by Thomas Gillman, an intern turned Communications Advisor for the organization. The UNDP MCO Samoa office saw something bigger in the project and was captured by its fresh and youthful perspective. With the office on board, they orchestrated a partnership between UNDP and Pole to Paris. 


Today, the Samoan UNDP office has become fundamental to the operations of the project providing logistical, technical and communications support to the team as they continue to grow and tackle this global issue. 


More importantly the project has exceeded all expectations. Since April, the Pole to Paris initiative has been through Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia; with Daniel, the Southern Biker now in Bangladesh, while Erlend (the Northern Runner) is preparing to begin on the 3rd of August. 


The partnership with UNDP has allowed maximum media coverage in each country with news networks such as Jakarta Post, National Geographic and New Zealand Herald getting involved. In Indonesia alone, Daniel presented a speech with the Minister of Environment and Forestry, H.E. Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar and the Chief Economics Minister, H.E Dr. Sofyan Djaliland. On the lead up to Paris, the team is excited to see where else this project will lead and what stories will be told and captured along the journey. The Samoa UNDP MCO office has provided the blueprints and support for this project to reach new heights. 


If you would also like to support the journey, more information can be found on the Pole to Paris Facebook page: 


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