HER Planet Earth Team Embarks on a Triple Challenge in Switzerland to put the Spotlight on Climate Actionfor Refugees.

HER Planet Earth Team Embarks on a Triple Challenge in Switzerland
to put the Spotlight on Climate Action for Refugees.

In June 2023, a self-funded team of 12 women, under the banner of HER Planet Earth, will embark on a unique triple-challenge, which will incorporate mountain climbing, biking and stand-up paddle boarding across one of Europe’s most challenging destinations, Switzerland. The expedition will include summiting an alpine peak at close to 3,000m in the Furka Pass, biking 100km across mountainous areas and crossing an icy lake on SUP boards. The objective of this is to raise awareness and donations for one of the most underfunded humanitarian crises in the world: the Rohingya refugee emergency. The team which includes 3 ladies from Thailand: Cindy Sirinya Bishop, Nin Viraviadya and Pear Viracha, will aim to raise a total of $50,000 USD to support a UNHCR Environmental programme in Bangladesh which includes reforestation, human-elephant contact management and youth-led climate action training activities.

Why Bangladesh?

Rohingya refugees fled the violence in Myanmar at a staggering rate in 2017 – and the numbers keep growing. Bangladesh is home to Kutupalong – the largest and most densely populated refugee settlement in the world. Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Many of the refugees’ makeshift shelters, are built on deforested, unstable hillsides, providing little protection against tropical storms of increasing intensity. Last year flooding and landslides forced 24,000 refugees to abandon their homes.

Also the refugee site lies along one of the Asian elephants’ main migratory routes between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Behaviorally, elephants always follow their traditional routes and if they find any obstacles within it, they may charge when they feel threatened. This can be terrifying to those who encounter them. and since 2017, 14 people have died due to contact with elephants. To mitigate this issue, UNHCR and its partners have trained over 884 refugees and host communities to understand how to deal with elephants when they enter the camps.

The Team’s Journey

For this expedition the team will begin the journey from Lugano and cycle from Coglio-Castlerotto, heading up through the small villages of Malcontone and Arosio. The women will then start the descent from Arosio and wind their way around the 19-hairpin bends to Agno. The next day the team will hike in Ticino in the Western Alps, from Monte Lema to Monte Tamaro. They will continue the next few days, on bikes to reach the Gotthard Pass, before continuing to Andermatt. In the last few days, the women will attempt to summit Chli Bielenhorn peak at 2,940m part of the iconic Furka Pass, in the Swiss Alps with deep valleys, and twisting hairpin turns to the oldest glacier in the Alps. This will all be challenging because of the complexity involved in hiking and mountaineering on rock, snow, and ice. Finally, the team will stand up paddle board across Lake Brienz and ride bikes from Interlaken to the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Founder and CEO, Christine Amour-Levar says “HER Planet Earth’s objective is to inspire people to go beyond their comfort zones for a certain period while pushing their limits to rally support for a worthy cause. At the core of our culture is a commitment to empowering underprivileged people, a passion for adventure and a deep respect and love of nature. HER Planet Earth seeks to take participants on pioneering expeditions around the world so that they can make new discoveries, flourish as individuals, and most importantly, contribute to society. The team hopes to bring international attention to the need for societies, governments, and corporations to get involved and help support climate action and women’s empowerment,”

HER Planet Earth is a non-profit organisation that aims to empower women to mitigate climate change. For more information go to  www.HERplanetearth.com

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. For more information go to https://www.unhcr.org

To donate to the mission please visit the team’s fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com

And to see pictures of the team’s journey, ‘LIKE’ their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/herplanetearth/ https://twitter.com/herplanet_earth https://www.instagram.com/herplanetearth/ GOOD LUCK LADIES!

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