An expedition to Greenland to understand the effects of climate change. / SUR

From Marbella to Greenland, to film documentaries about climate change

The expedition was organised by The American College in Spain and the Planet Future Foundation to show how rising temperatures are affecting the Inuit population

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS

Last month, from the ninth to the 17 March, The American College in Spain, an educational institution based in Marbella, together with the Planet Future Foundation, carried out an expedition to Greenland to film a documentary about the effects of climate change there.

The trip was led by Pancho Campo, a former professional tennis player and current president of the Planet Future Foundation. He is known in Marbella for launching different business initiatives and forums on climate change.

He explained that while in Greenland, “We filmed a documentary series about how climate change is affecting the Inuit population. We also had the opportunity to scuba dive under the ice to show the impact on the marine environment, and we climbed some glaciers that are melting increasingly quickly, as the temperature in Greenland rises three to four times fast than the rest of the planet.”

He emphasised that, “It's vital that everyone understands the importance of protecting the planet's most affected areas. While they don't have much to do with our businesses and companies, what happens to them will have serious consequences for us all.”

Inuit community

In Greenland, Campo lived with members of the Inuit community to learn about their culture and customs. He also went fishing and hunting with them to see how the melting ice in Greenland is affecting their way of life. The Inuits tend to travel to hunting sites via dog sleighs or snowmobiles, but these journeys are becoming increasingly difficult due to the melting ice, forcing people to travel in small boats. This is a long and slow mode of transportation, taking two hours instead of 30 minutes.

Nonetheless, the most common issue mentioned by Inuit citizens and scientists in the region is erratic weather, which can become violent very suddenly.

Minerals

Campo also explained that climate change is creating new opportunities for Greenland; the melted ice has revealed large reserves of gold, uranium, zinc, and other minerals, second only in size to China. The warmer summer weather has led to the development of small farms that, until recently, would have been impossible. Rising sea temperatures have changed the migratory patterns of some species, attracting large numbers of cod, tuna, and mackerel, among others, which is very important given that over 80% of Greenland's income comes from fishing. Further melting of the ice has also opened up new routes for tourist cruise ships.

The Planet Future Foundation hope to continue showing what is happening in other sensitive areas of the planet, such as in marine environments and coral reefs, the Amazon and rainforests, and places on earth at risk of drought and flooding. It also plans to showcase regions, countries and cities where interesting strategies are being implemented to protect the environment and combat the climate crisis.

Both the Planet Future Foundation and the Greenland documentaries will be presented at the Green Wine Future World Congress, taking place from 23-26 May. Previous participants at the congress have included President Obama, Vice President Al Gore and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.