Written by Lisa Folino
As we all reflect on 2016 we move forward to the New Year ahead. Many of us feel that we and our planet are facing an ‘uncertain future.’ To illustrate this point, we feel the Polar Bear is one animal that is having to face an ‘adapt or become extinct reality.’
The receding ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic regions have once again reached record lows in the month of November 2016. We are seeing Polar Bears already changing their habits and diet in areas around the world.
In the Russian archipelago lies 191 Islands, known as Franz Josef Land, which is located in the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, and Kara Sea. Being a National Park, this remote area has very limited visitors. Scientists and conservationists have witnessed the polar bear eating eggs from the native bird species of the island, and have film of the Polar bear eating the flora and fauna of the Tundra. With the disappearing sea ice there are less and less seals for the polar bear to hunt, and so we are witnessing these adaptive behaviors.
As global citizens, we must change and adapt our habits. Convenience has become the enemy of our environment. It is our responsibility to set simple goals that we can integrate into our daily lives. For example – cloth bags at the market, reusable cups for drinks, refuse straws and seek out alternate methods to carry and eat our food.
There are many mountains we will face in the new year. It is more important now than ever that we use education to empower and create an impactful movement of change for our young people around the world. To quote one of our OIF Officers, “Education done with integrity leads to powerful change.” Children are not only our future ambassadors, but can have an active role in helping solve the critical problems we face today.
Wishing peace and love for our planet
Let’s keep our Oceans Blue.