Design a new flag to be planted at the North Pole!
4 December 2012
WAGGGS and Greenpeace have launched a new global competition offering young people the chance to design a flag that will be planted at the North Pole.
The Flag for the Future competition was launched with a webinar on Monday 3 December.
Webinar participants watched an exclusive early broadcast of a new short film, “Northbound”, and asked questions to Miryam Justo, a star of the film.
Flag for the Future is open to people in any country aged between 6 and 26 years.
Much more information, guidelines and flag templates are available at www.flagforthefuture.org .
The winning flag design will be chosen by a judging panel that includes world famous fashion designer and environmental advocate Vivienne Westwood.
That flag will be planted at the North Pole along with the names of millions of people who have signed the Save the Arctic petition to create a global sanctuary in the uninhabited Arctic sea.
Webinar launch event
Peruvian Girl Scout Miryam Justo was one of two WAGGGS representatives who joined a voyage on the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker ship this July.
She was joined on board by Ghanaian Girl Guide Sena Blankson. Their amazing journey is the subject of the short film “Northbound”, which can be viewed below.
Miryam hosted a Q&A session with participants from around the world, to launch Flag for the Future. Here are the interesting questions she was asked – and her sometimes surprising answers!
How was the Arctic? I have always wanted to visit!
The Arctic is fantastic. It is so bad to think that in perhaps 100 years polar bears will be gone if we ignore and keep polluting, destroying, etc.
I wish you all could have the same opportunity I had!
What was the best part of your trip?
IMPOSIBLE to pick one, it was an amazing experience. The Arctic is a majestic ecosystem. I had the opportunity to see wildlife like polar bears and Arctic birds. I met inspiring people.
Also, the people aboard the vessel are good people! I want to say a public hello, and thanks for having guests aboard while you are busy and working.
How did you feel after you got back and it was all over?
I was only thinking about on getting back to the Arctic Sunrise, and joining Greenpeace for another expedition.
What do you think was the most important thing you learned from actually going to the Arctic, that you didn’t know about before and that you think is important to share?
I didn’t know about Pyramiden, the settlement that is abandoned now.
It is important to know about it to make sure the world won’t repeat that kind of things, pollution, etc. We need to take responsibility for our actions.
What surprised you most about your trip to the Arctic? Did you discover something you really hadn't expected?
There was not as much ice and snow as I was expecting.
Did you see any evidence of the melting ice?
My perception is that the area that is covered by snow is smaller now. You know, you read magazines, watch pictures... It was different.
What was the coldest temperature while you were there?
I guess minus 2 Celsius. Not something like minus 20 Celsius or that kind of thing you imagine. It was summer.
Did you go swimming!?
Nope! Hehehehehe kind of cold…
Did you get to try skiing while on the ice?
Yep! I tried, and, well... winter sports are not my strong points! It was fun though! And it was the first time for Sena to experience the snow! How cool is that?
Are there igloos there?
There are no igloos but there are icebergs – they are beautiful colours and different patterns and shades of blue, white, etc.
How did you sleep when you were there?
I shared a small cabin with Sena, a Girl Guide from Ghana. At first it was weird with the 24 hours of daylight.
What did you eat while you were there?
A nice mix of Indian and Danish food, fresh apples, tea, regular good food. And lots of potatoes – just like home!
How has this experience impacted on how you live your life today?
It impacted me in different ways. First, I learned that your childhood dreams can become real!
And also it has made me think of my own country and the changes in the climate patterns, and negative impacts such as loss of species – not only in Peru, but everywhere.
There are human settlements in the Arctic, north of Canada, Russia – I think of them too.
What do you think that we can do to save the Arctic while we are living in India (or any country)?
Raise awareness and educate young people, sign the Save the Arctic petition, avoid polluting...
Each person in each part of the globe can help; it is a combination of different actions on different scales that makes an overall difference.
Miryam, thank you very much for joining us and sharing your Arctic experience with everybody.
Thanks to everyone, especially to WAGGGS and Greenpeace. Join the competition! And remember that the Arctic is much more than just ice.