Tuesday, 4 December 2012

World Irish Article

'It really is a once in a lifetime experience': Donegal woman heads on Antarctic expedition

Story by aidankelly
Posted 6 days ago

Image: polareimear blog / Copyright: Karl Martini

A Donegal woman will be gearing up for the trip of a lifetime this Christmas, as she prepares to head to Antarctica on a climate change fact-finding mission.

Eimear Carlin has been selected as Ireland's only representative for the prestigious project, which has been organised as part of the '2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme'.

In early February, she will take part in an expedition to the continent to explore its landscape and wildlife, as well as learning how to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The expedition will be led by Robert Swan – a British explorer who, in 1989, became the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. He is aiming to inspire the next generation of leaders to continue his work on sustainability.

Eimear told WorldIrish that she is looking forward to the challenge:

I can't wait! I haven't really had time to take it all in that it's actually happening because I've just been living and breathing fundraising for the last ten weeks – that in itself has been an amazing learning curve.

Just to have the opportunity to go down there – I never, ever in my wildest dreams though that a) I'd be chosen for the project and b) it would actually become a reality. It really is a once in a lifetime experience.

Image: polareimear blog

Climate change awareness and sustainability are issues that are close to Eimear's heart – while living and working in the Canadian Arctic eight years ago, she was struck by the physical beauty of the region and the need to protect its delicate ecosystem:

I saw how the Inuit cultures up there could marry modern technology, viable businesses and climate awareness at the same time. And from there I worked in Canadian forestry for four years, replanting clear cuts.

Again it's questionable with that kind of work whether you are making a positive change. In my opinion you are, because you're replanting pre-cut land, so I think whenever I applied [for the programme], I gave quite a realistic view of what we can do for climate change. 
People need to make a living, but it can be done in a more sustainable way.

Aside from her fundraising activities, she has spent the past number of weeks preparing herself physically and mentally for the expedition in February:

I am a member of the Dublin Roller Girls roller derby team so I have been personal fundraising off skating the equivalent of the Drake Passage, which is 800kms, so I've skated about 150kms of that so far.

Training for an Antarctic trip, a lot of it is common sense to be quite honest. I think it's just like any extreme environment.

If you're out hill walking in Ireland, and/or if you're off on an expedition, it really is just awareness of people around you and becoming part of a team.

Eimear has pledged to raise over €19,000 to take part in the expedition. While some of that money has come from sponsors like the French Embassy in Ireland (she works for the Alliance Française in Dublin), much of it has had to be raised personally.

Image: 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme

She's turned to online crowd funding and organising events to get her up to her lofty target – once she returns from the Antarctic she will be a fully-fledged Youth Ambassador for Climate Change.
For here, she hopes to travel around the country to businesses and schools, educating and informing people on the importance of climate change and sustainability.

I actually did a talk with Foróige in Letterkenny at the weekend through the NIfty Programme and they're more than happy to have me come up around Donegal and Sligo to do presentations in youth groups there.

That's all phase two – so I'm more than open to getting requests from schools to do talks at this point. It's gonna be super!

Eimear will be holding a stand-up comedy fundraising night on Friday, 30 November in the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar, Dublin. For more information,
check out their website.
She has also set up a crowd funding account here.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

BusyBusyBusyBusy...Oooh shiny car!

November promised to be a busy month and she is not holding back any punches! Things are moving at a million miles an hour at Expedition Central.

Events wise, the Café Scientifique Event on the 22nd of November is shaping up to be a wonderful evening.  Our panel of speakers will include Ciaran Cuffe, Gavin Harte, and Frank Mc Donald and myself. The event will start with a short film about last years Expedition, and then each panelist will speak for 5 minutes on their area of expertise on Climate Change. The speeches will be followed by a Q+A session with the audience. All of this will be held over food and wine in La Cocotte Café at the Alliance Francaise. Admission is free and donations will be accepted on the night towards my Expedition.

For RSVP to this event please contact The Alliance Francaise here!

From there I will be jetting back to the bright lights of home as I have been asked to speak at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Event in Letterkenny (LYIT) on November 23rd at 2pm.

I am incredibly honoured to have been asked to speak at this event and I am looking forward to sharing my story and details of the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme with such a dedicated group of people.

  NFTE Ireland is an all-island entrepreneurship programme operated by Foróige, the National Youth Development Organisation and affiliated to NFTE International. NFTE Ireland's mission is to provide entrepreneurship education to young people living in low-income communities on the island of Ireland. Our vision is that every young person will find a pathway to prosperity. NFTE is committed to helping young people reach their full potential through educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Once details have been confirmed I will post them here!

Many thanks to Niamh and all the crew over at the Project Arts Centre I will be holding a stand up comedy evening called Stand Up for Penguins! on November 30th at 8.30pm. We are working on acts for the evening and it is going to be AWESOME!! You can join the Facebook Event Page HERE!

Finally I need to say a huge thank you to Mark Daly over at ESB Ecars. I spent Monday afternoon with Mark learning all about Ecar Technology in Ireland. The advancments and commitment to Ecar technology and Renewable Energy as a power source in Ireland are admirable. I also got to take a spin in one of their electric fleet and I am honestly converted! I hope to work more with Mark and all the team at ESB Ecars over the next 18months to raise awareness about the viability of making the switch to EPV's.

One of the many reasons I am happy I undertook this project is the amazing opportunities I have had to look deeper at realistic models that lead to more sustainability and environmental protection within industries that have, in the past, been attributed to negative impacts on our environment. Ecocem and ESB Ecars are two shining examples of this....

Friday, 2 November 2012

Press Pictures Karl Martini Photographer

Many thanks to the incredibly talented Karl Martini for taking some brilliant shots this weekend. Karl is a very talented and professional photographer and I cannot recommend him enough!


Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Release

For Immediate Release


Irish woman selected for International Antarctic Expedition

A Donegal woman has been selected in a small elite group of young people worldwide to take part in an expedition to Antarctica to preserve the continent’s unique landscape and wildlife as well as learning how to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Eimear Carlin from Milltown, Raphoe, is the only Irish representative on the ‘2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme’ and has been formally invited by Robert Swan OBE to take part in the three-week International Antarctic Expedition (IAE), which begins next February.

Swan is the first person to walk to both the North and South poles, in 1986 and 1989 respectively, and is now a renowned environmental leader who takes a select group of current and future environmental experts to Antarctica. His aim is to inspire the next generation of leaders to continue his work.

Human activities in Antarctica are governed by an international agreement, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. This ensures that Antarctica is used for peaceful purposes only and that the environment is protected. Currently there is a cessation that bans drilling or mining in Antarctica called the Environmental Protocol, established in 1991. This document can be reviewed after the 50-year anniversary in 2041.

Ms Carlin, who has just completed a post graduate diploma in Development Studies from Kimmage Development Studies Centre in Dublin, moved to Inuvik in the Canadian Arctic in 2004, and spent four years working the Canadian Forestry Sector. She worked mostly in reforestation, and personally planted over 600,000 trees.

“I became very interested in the environmental challenges faced by the Polar Regions and how changes in the Polar ecosystem can impact on the rest of the world,” she said. “From living within the Arctic Circle I am used to working in extreme weather conditions, experiencing 24 hour darkness and temperatures in the -40s. 

“I have travelled extensively throughout the North West Territories, witnessing the annual caribou migration. In 2006 I travelled to Northern and Arctic Finland to photograph brown bear migrations into Russia.”

The expedition will also see Ms Carlin complete Swan’s ‘Leadership on the Edge’ programme, the goal of which is to develop the skills of future business and environmental leaders. This will be held at the first ever Education Base established in Antarctica by Robert Swan at Bellinghausen Station.

Ms Carlin has pledged to raise €19,607 to take part in the expedition. With the support of ECOCEM, Irish producers of the world’s most sustainable building material, the French Embassy in Ireland, and Kimmage Development Studies Centre, she is over the halfway mark towards the Expedition, which takes place from February 28 to March 14 2013. She will be hosting a climate change Café Scientifique Fundraiser in the Alliance Francaise Dublin on November 22nd entitled "Climate Change- Ireland's place in the Polar Plight". Guest speakers will debate on Climate Change followed by a Q+A Session the event will be FREE with optional donations on the night.

She has also started personal fundraising, most notably a roller-skating trek around Ireland covering 800km, which is the equivalent distance of the Drake Passage, the sea of water that connects the south-western Atlantic and the south-eastern Pacific, between the southern tip of South America in Chile and South Shetlands Islands of Antarctica over the next four months.

This project will culminate in a Fundraiser Gala Evening in Dublin on the last weekend of January. Upon her return in March, Ms Carlin will then undertake the second leg of the journey, around the schools of the country to educate.

“I am aiming to start an initiative in schools across Ireland to get 2041 young people to create their own climate change projects, whether it is planting a tree or being responsible for turning off all lights, checking taps etc in their home before bedtime,” she said. “Simple acts can make a huge change. In doing so, kids will get to be Mini Climate Ambassadors in their own right.  It’s about instilling a more sustainable attitude to energy and resource use from an early age.”

“Throughout 2013, I will be travelling around Ireland visiting schools and businesses promoting the Antarctic and sustainable practices that can help combat the effects of climate change.”

You can support Eimear by visiting http://polareimear2041ayap.blogspot.ie/ Or go into any AIB and quote “Eimear Carlin Antarctic Fundraising Account, Smithfield Branch.”


For further information contact:

Eimear Carlin at skatethedrake@gmail.com.

or phone:  087 -068 4498

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Thanks Donegal News!


Please keep the support coming, I only have 6 weeks until my deadline to raise the balance of the Expedition Fee!

Click here to support me directly!

Or you can donate using PayPal skatethedrake@gmail.com

Or you can go into any AIB Bank and quote Eimear Carlin Antarctic Fundraising Account Smithfield Branch!

Thanks so much!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Kerry Outdoors Sports

Thanks to Aoife and all the gang at Kerry Outdoors Sports who are helping me source second hand gear for the Expedition! They have been really helpful and offer great service!

Click here to visit their facebook page.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

hitting 100km in Skate the Drake! And other treats in store!!

Ok, I really have to keep up with maintaining my blog updates, but every day seems to bring more progressions, and thank you's and acts of incredible kindness and peaks and troughs of emotions that it can be very difficult to keep up with my feet, not talking about my blog!
First things first, I managed to raise the first $5000 for the deposit for the Expedition, meaning this Cinderella will go to the Ball, on the ship, to Antarctica (!) Now, I say I managed to raise the money, when in fact it has been YOU ALL that has raised the money. I cannot express my gratitude enough to everybody involved, but especially I would like to offer a massive thank you to Ecocem, the French Embassy in Ireland and Kimmage Development Studies Centre for their generous patronage.
November it seems is going to be the month of Fundraisers. Confirmed is a Café Scientifique Event at the Alliance Francaise de Dublin, titled "Climate Change- Ireland's place in the Polar Plight"
 We will have a panel of Climate Experts (including myself) speaking on Climate Change, followed by a Q+A session and debate. We will also be showing a short excerpt of last year's expedition. This will all be held over food and drink in La Cocotte Café on November 22nd from 6.30pm.
I am also planning A 'Stand Up for Penguins' comedy night, kindly arranged by Simon O'Keeffe over at the Capital Comedy Club http://www.capitalcomedyclub.com/. We are finalising a venue and acts, and I will post details here once everything is set in stone.
Finally, if the rain had not called off play tonight, I would be announcing that I have skated over 100km for Skate the Drake! I am at 91km at the moment, but please keep supporting me, every message/donation/offer of being my skate buddy pushes me closer to the line! I may be asking for donations of wheels soon enough as my skates are as battered as my knees today!
Inspirational picture of the day is courtesy of the Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme Facebook Page!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

First Milestone Crossed!

I can't quite believe it has only been six weeks since I came home spouting I'M GOING TO ANTARCTICA!!! After the initial exuberance of having been accepted on the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme came the realisation that I would have to raise almost 20,000 euro to make this a reality. Well today I passed the first milestone of this and I transferred the funds to secure my place on the Sea Spirit ship to Antarctica!

The exuberance has returned and is augmented because in the last six weeks I have experienced so much love, support and generosity from friends and from people I barely know.

Thank you all and I'm gearing up for round two refreshed!!!


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Thanks Donegal Democrat!

I'd like to send a huge thank you to Alan Foley and all the team at the Donegal Democrat for publishing an article in today's issue. This article was also featured on Google Science News this morning!


Alan is a true pro and Happy Birthday to him also!


Ecocem support AYAP

I'm absolutley delighted to announce that Ecocem are now a major sponsor of my Antarctic Expedition, Ecocem are an Irish Owned Organisation who are market leaders in eco-construction and their cement is the world's most sustainable building material.  Their impressive resumé includes The Aviva Stadium and the Convention Centre in Dublin.

I am incredibly impressed by their dedication to reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry and their support of my Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme, and other enviromental and educational initiatives. I am looking forward to working with Conor and all the team at Ecocem over the next 18 months.

Thanks guys!

"Climate change is an issue that we must all be concerned with. Those of us with greater influence must have greater concern. If an individual in their normal life reduced their emissions by 50% they might save 8 tonnes of CO2 annually (this would require halving their journeys, their heating, their holidays, their food consumption, etc).

 If professionals working in the construction industry reduce the emissions of their projects during construction by 50% they can save up to 4,000,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. During the construction peak, if half the cement used was green cement such as Ecocem over 2,000,000 tonnes of CO2 alone would have been saved."




Saturday, 6 October 2012

9 days to go till Deadline One...Gulp!

What a few weeks! The interest in my Expedition bid since my last update has been phenomenal! I have been working around the clock as I get closer to my first fundraising deadline of October 15th. As the logistics involved in getting a group of future environmental and climate leaders from all over the globe (including yours truly!)  down to Antarctica is so complicated, the deadline was set this early to ensure maximum numbers of us could secure our place on the Sea Spirit Ship. It is daunting that the first deadline is so close, but it will be amazing to have my spot secured and work on fundraising for the rest of the project.

The French Connection!

I am very proud and humbled to announce that the French Embassy to Ireland have become an official supporter of my Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme. Their enthusiasm and confidence in this great project has been amazing. I was rather daunted being interviewed en francais in the Cultural and Scientific Department of the Ambassade, but Mr. Hadrien Laroche, Mr. Claude Detrez and all the team at the Embassy have been amazing. They have wonderful ideas about how to bring this project forward and gain as much publicity as possible for the protection of Antarctica and my role in that.

I must also thank Mr. Philippe Milloux and Mr. Vincent Lavergne from the Alliance Francaise. They included a piece about my bid in the Alliance Francaise newsletter and have offered to hold a Cafe Scientifique Event at the Alliance Francaise on November 22nd.  I am currently searching for panel speakers in regards to Climate Change and Protection of our Polar regions. I am looking forward to inviting all the team at Kimmage Development Studies Centre to this event.


In Other News!

In other fabulous news, I have been awarded a bursary from a major Irish Charitable Foundation this week. Details of this will follow in the coming weeks, but I am incredibly excited about the prospect of working with such an admirable organisation.

I am also going to be taking part in a voxpop session at the Ernest Shackleton School in Athy Co. Kildare in the last weekend of October! Many thanks to Margaret Walsh at Athy Heritage Museum for this opportunity.

Extra! Extra!

The wonderful Alan Foley has been burning the midnight oil for me and has completed my press release for this project! Alan has been a great friend for many years and I would like to thank him for taking them time out of his hectic schedule to help me out. Legend. I have a photo shoot lined up this weekend with Karl Martini, a very talented photographer from Dublin. When we spoke on the phone, I had to laugh when he said "So wait a minute, the themes you want me to combine are Rollerskating-The Antarctic-Phoenix Park. Pause. Okay... I can make this work..." I have every faith that he can!

On that note, the Skate the Drake! fundraising is going very well, I clocked up 17.2km last Sunday, and looking outside at the sunshine- I really should be out there now, so I am going to sign off for now. Please keep supporting my bid and sharing my plight- I have a beautiful little feeling inside that this is going to happen!!!

I have so so many people to thank, I will post again on Sunday night to share the other great things that are going on and in the meantime THANK YOU ALL!

Skate, skate, skate!




Monday, 24 September 2012

fine line between urgency and one thing at a time...

In fundraising for this expedition, concentrating on the end goal is an essential part of keeping the momentum going. With all the media attention on the dramatic levels of melting in sea ice levels in the Arctic this week, the end goal of my aspiration to be an effective Antarctic Youth Ambassador is ever more poignant and the urgency of the issue  has increased my urgency to keep working as hard as I can to get to this goal.
Overwhelmingly this week however, the support I have received from friends, family, and colleagues has made it so that I simply HAVE to make it all a reality now. People's openness and generosity with their time, ideas, and resources is amazing. I seem to be hovering somewhere between sleep deprived clumsiness and blind panic a lot this week with the monumental task ahead but  I am really touched that people are sharing this weight and every kind deed is pushing me closer to the line (and the boat in Ushuaia in 20 weeks time!!!) 

Special shout outs to all the Carlin/Mc Tague gang, Simon, Luna, Helene, Dud, Kim Mc Kazi, Maggie, Michelle, Sarah, Cleo, Carolyn, Ashe, Della and all the wonderful people who have been giving so generously on my gofundme page....
I am really excited to get working on the great fundraising ideas you have had, and will be taking you up on offers of help......So so much to do!!!

In the Guardian this week, George Monbiot
summed up the inheritance that we are leaving to the next generation...
"In June he (David Cameron) struck an agreement with the Norwegian prime minister "to enable sustainable development of Arctic energy". Sustainable development, of course, means drilling for oil.  Is this how our children will see it: that w

e destroyed the benign conditions that made our world of wonders possible, and then used the opportunity to amplify the damage? All of us, of course, can claim to have acted with other aims in mind, or not to have acted at all, as the other immediacies of life seemed more important. But – unless we respond at last – the results follow as surely as if we had sought to engineer them."

Please, keep supporting the protection of our Polar Regions, and keep doing one little thing to combat climate change.  Keep spreading the word about this project and 2041, to make someone somewhere look twice at a newspaper article or headline about the damage that has been done and what we can all do.

 There it is again, that fine line between urgency and one thing at a time.....




Monday, 17 September 2012

Another week in...stickers, scissors and a million emotions

Happy International Polar week Everybody!

What a week, sometimes it feels like you are getting nowhere when fundraising for an expedition and a cause of this magnitude- and then someone or something inspirational makes me believe it is possible again.  I am reflecting on all that has happened in the space of one week, my proposal is finally ready to go (after being proofread by many many brilliant friends) I have been busy talking to potential supporters, charities, Educate Together, nursery suppliers (I have a plan to get 2041 trees donated to my mini ambassador programme for school children!).... and I spent my Saturday night this weekend cutting out little sticky labels for DVDs of last years expedition for sending out to sponsors also.... the upside of spending this time doing my best Blue Peter impressions with stickers and scissors was that I got to watch this wonderful expedition again and again, and it is clear that I have no choice but to make it. Protecting the polar regions is simply a necessity in my mind.

I am incredibly happy to announce that this week my college Kimmage Development Studies Centre became my first official supporter.  I am deeply touched by their generosity and support.  My learning experience at KDSC was definitely one of the reasons I applied for this Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme and most certainly one of the reasons I was accepted.  I am looking forward to working with and for KDSC over the next months. I would like to send out a massive thank you to all the wonderful, dedicated and inspiring staff at this great institution.

I always remember when I was in 5th class in Raphoe Central National School, my principal Mrs. Millar's son Alan had been away climbing in the Himalaya and he came into school to give us a talk about his experiences. I remember being completely transfixed by his epic adventure and it inspired me so much to go out and see the world, and to care.  To have this amazing opportunity to go to Antarctica will be a life changer, not only for me, but for anyone and everyone that will listen when I get back. If I can inspire even one young person by my story in the same way I was inspired back in 1990, to be curious and to find out more about out polar regions and how to protect them I would be happy.

Till next time,



Tuesday, 11 September 2012

And so it commences!

I am now officially one week into my preparations for the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Project. A lot of questions have been thrown at me about the Expedition, arent you scared you will die? How will you handle the cold? What about the Polar Bears(!)  What exactly is The Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme? Wait, won't you be too old to go in 2041?

To answer a few of these, On 28 February 2013, I will be joining up with the 2041 crew in Ushuaia, Argentina for the start of the International Antarctic Expedition 2013 (IAE 2013). With their carefully selected team, I will explore the Antarctic Peninsula with their on-board experts and will gain firsthand knowledge of the continent’s fragile ecosystem, experience its unique wildlife and observe the magnificent landscape of Antarctica, all while learning about climate change and what we can do to protect the last great wilderness on Earth.

http://2041.com/about-2041/ This is the link to who 2041 are.

In the year 2041 the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty could potentially be modified or amended. 2041's aim is to work towards the continuing protection of the Antarctic Treaty so that the last great wilderness on earth is never exploited.

I am so proud and excited about the prospect of having the incredible honour to visit Antarctica and to meet the team of incredible people who I am sure will be life long friends working towards a common goal.

In the meantime, I'm launching into my Project Proposal and mentally preparing for a brilliant 18 months ahead....