Nivedita Biswal, 1st Odia Chosen For Antarctica Expedition; Seeks Govt Support To Cross Funds Hurdle
Bhubaneswar: Here’s a piece of news that will make every Odia proud. Nivedita Biswal of Odisha’s Sambalpur has been selected for 2041 ClimateForce: Antarctica 2021, the expedition scheduled for November but postponed to March 17, 2022, due to the COVID pandemic.
She is probably the first Odia to have got this opportunity to travel to the South pole for the leadership expedition programme, fueled by the 2041 Foundation and leading polar explorer Robert Swan, to understand climate changes in Antarctica.
In a tweet, Nivedita had requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to support this dream of hers.
“I am seeking government support, corporate and crowdfunding as I would need around Rs 16 lakh to cover all expenses for this expedition, including my stay, flight tickets and study on climate changes in Antarctica during those 12 days,” said Nivedita, who is currently working as manager (operations) at Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.
“I have started giving presentations to corporates to be able to collect the required funds for it,” she said.
Robert Swan and his team have been organising this expedition since the past 30 years. “The basic purpose of this expedition is to protect Antarctica. This is about a treaty that was signed in 1991. By 2041, they have to work on preserving Antarctica from any kind of mining expedition or tourism. In 2041, the treaty will expire. So, before that they are trying to convey as much as message to people, government and agencies that we need to preserve Antarctica,” said Nivedita, who had learnt about the expedition from social media.
“Antarctica was a dream few years back. I wanted to visit Antarctica when I was pursuing a programme on climate change because I wanted to see and research about the impact of climate change,” she said.
Nivedita had cleared a three-step selection process in which 90 young leaders from across the globe were selected to journey to a hotspot of climate change.
“I had to appear for two written tests and an interview, stating the purpose behind my interest to undertake this journey. I was selected last year, but the November expedition could not take place due to COVID and it has now been shifted to March 2022,” she said.
Nivedita said that she would like to study water issues, glacier melting and perma frosting in Antarctica.
As an environment-conscious individual, she had been involved in different activities, including creating awareness on plastic menace, water issues, how to shift to renewable resources. “I am also planning to do masters in environmental studies at the University of Pennsylvania and work for my state, which has to deal with the vagaries of cyclones almost every year. This expedition resonates with my future plans,” she added.
A comprehensive expedition, ClimateForce: Antarctica Expedition aims at educating its participants in climate change and sustainability, through exploration, learning and generating a global network. The mission of the expedition is to utilise adventure as a vehicle to preserve our planet.