Jan 16, 2014

Expedition to Profile the 'Doomed Glaciers of Africa'

Scientists have predicted the glaciers in western Uganda may cease to exist in two decades

Uganda Expedition Doomed Glaciers of Africa Pax Artica GCI WYPW

A two-week expedition of western Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, conducted by Pax Arctica, Makerere University’s Mountain Resource Centre and Green Cross Intl. (GCI), is being launched to raise awareness on Africa’s vanishing glaciers and the global water crisis.

The expedition is being led by explorer Luc Hardy, founder of Pax Arctica, an organization that promotes awareness of the impact of climate change on arctic regions. Hardy is also vice president of Green Cross France et Territoires, which is part of the GCI global network, founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev to respond to the inter-related challenges of environmental degradation, security and poverty.

Scientists have predicted the glaciers located in the Rwenzori Mountains, or Mountains of the Moon, may cease to exist in two decades, possibly as early as the mid-2020s. Studies have shown that from 1906 to 2003, the area covered by glaciers has reduced from 7.5 sq km to less than 1 sq km. Research efforts to discover the impact of the disappearance of these glaciers are now critical. 

The findings of the Uganda expedition will provide valuable information about the effects of climate change on Africa’s fast disappearing glaciers, and the consequence it may have on water shortages and water ecosystems in this region. Other objectives are to investigate the composition of plant species in the region, and develop the Mountain Research Centre’s glacial monitoring capacities.

Joining the expedition will be Sheila Ruyondo, a Ugandan environmental advocate and Uganda’s youth representative to the World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW), which is a partner of the expedition. WYPW is a network of young advocates committed to responding to the global water crisis and its links to climate change. Raising awareness and mobilizing youth for this cause are two of its key missions, which are embodied in this expedition.

For updates in the coming days about the Doomed Glaciers of Africa expedition, please refer to GCI’s blog and Pax Arctica for movies, reports and photos.