Search for Singaporean youth for Arctic expedition

SINGAPORE - The search for a young Singaporean to join a 21-day expedition in the Arctic was launched on Thursday morning.

The successful applicant will join 11 others chosen from across the globe to participate in group challenges in the Arctic. At the same time, they will find out why the northern polar region is changing so rapidly and how this could affect climate systems around the world.

Armed with today's technology, they will broadcast live from the Arctic daily, reaching out to youth around the world across social media platforms, and encouraging them to be agents of change.

When they return, a one-day youth climate conference will also be held in Singapore, just before the actual 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The science expedition, called Youth4Arctic is the first in a series of events that will run for three years, under Youth4Planet, which is a series of expeditions detailing the importance of keeping climate systems such as the arctic, rainforests and oceans stable.

Youth4Planet is the brainchild of Mrs Liz Courtney, an environmental film director and Managing Director of Unboxed Media, an Australian-based company specialising in producing factual television programmes.

Speaking at the launch, Mrs Courtney said: "The inspiration for Youth4Arctic and Youth4Planet came when I directed a series called Cool School in 2011, which involved 40 teenagers. They told me how they felt sad and unsure, like they had no voice in their future. I want to change that."

The guest-of-honour, Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Sam Tan Chin Siong, agreed that young people play an integral role in the fight against climate change.

"Climate change impacts everyone. This also means that everyone, including our youth, has a part to play in conserving the environment," he said.

Youth4Arctic will incorporate both social media and conventional television.

Those on the expedition will be asked to solve scientific challenges daily, and present their solutions through social media. The trip will also be filmed as a television series, planned for a November 2015 release on National Geographic. Filming begins in July.

Although the project was launched officially today, some have already submitted applications..

Phua Shi Yu, a 17-year-old student from Victoria Junior College, was among them.

"I feel like it's a rare opportunity, and also one that is relevant," he said.

Interested applicants can head to www.youth4planet.com to find out how to apply.

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