Singapore, January 2024 – Breaking new ground in the realm of women-led explorations, HER Planet Earth proudly announces the Gobi Desert Winter 2024 Expedition, uniting 15 women from diverse corners of the globe. This extraordinary mission is a blend of exhilarating adventure, staunch commitment to climate action, and dedicated empowerment of local women across Mongolia.
The HER Planet Earth all-female team is set to embark on its 11th expedition to date, a 100km expedition, navigating the formidable Gobi Desert in early March 2024, astride Bactrian camels. Their ambitious goal is to raise $50,000 USD for The Nature Conservancy (TNC)'s impactful initiatives in Mongolia. The focus of these projects includes empowering women in herding communities, fostering enhanced land conservation, and creating avenues for additional income.
This unprecedented venture seeks to transcend boundaries, combining the thrill of adventure with a profound commitment to climate action and the upliftment of women in some of the world's most resilient communities. As the all-female team undertakes this challenging odyssey, they aim not only to explore part of the vast expanse of the Gobi but also to make a lasting impact on the lives of those they encounter along their transformative journey.
Why Gobi Desert?
The Gobi Desert, spanning across Mongolia and China, was chosen for its unique combination of challenge and beauty. It is the largest, as well as the coldest desert in Asia, and the fifth largest in the world. The Gobi’s unique ecosystem is renowned for its stunning natural formations, as well as real dinosaur fossils and endemic flora and fauna. Prominent landforms include sand hills and dunes, dry mountain slopes, gravelly steppes, rocky hills, saxaul forests, dry riverbeds, and more. Situated to the north and high up around 1,500m above sea level, the Gobi is a cold desert with extreme weather conditions. Indeed, as one of the harshest deserts globally, the Gobi provides a testing ground for the HER Planet Earth all-female team, riding Bactrian camels across its vast expanse. The expedition not only aims to showcase the resilience of women but also emphasises the importance of environmental conservation in fragile ecosystems.
This journey through the Gobi Desert underscores the significance of preserving Mongolian herding communities and their delicate balance between tradition and conservation. The stark beauty of the Gobi serves as a backdrop to the mission's core objectives: empowering local women, advancing conservation efforts, and fostering sustainable practices.
The Team's Journey
Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, the women will visit TNC's Mongolia headquarters. The following day marks the beginning of the scenic drive to Dalanzadgad city, covering 600 kilometres bringing them closer to the desert expedition that awaits. As they emerge from the winter season, the team will face the unique challenge of Gobi's unforgiving weather transition, with temperatures in March potentially dropping below 20 degrees Celsius and the winds proving to be very harsh, adding an extra layer of challenge and awe to their adventure.
Before the Gobi Desert journey commences, the women will visit nearby TNC conservation projects dedicated to environmental and community development. This enlightening experience sets the stage for the extraordinary camel riding expedition in the Gobi Desert, covering an initial 25 kilometres on the first day.
Continuing the camel journey, the team will cover 25 kilometres each day, venturing deeper into the captivating expanse of the Gobi Desert. Nights will be spent at Ger Camps, providing an authentic taste of Mongolian culture beneath the vast desert skies. The desert is also home to extremely rare animals such as the wild Bactrian camel, Mongolian wild ass, snow leopard and the Gobi bear.
After completing their 100km crossing, the team will take part in a local Camel Festival, an immersive celebration offering camel rides, camel polo, parades, contests, camel races, traditional games, and concerts. This festival provides valuable insights into the rich culture and resilience of the Gobi's inhabitants, creating lasting memories for the team.
The next day, the women will embark on the long ride back to Ulaanbaatar, and the journey will culminate with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant, celebrating the bonds forged and the memories created during this transformative experience. The team will carry with them not only the achievement of exploring the Gobi, but also the resilience imprinted by weathering winter in one of the harshest deserts on earth.
The HER Planet Earth expedition supports The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a global environmental organisation dedicated to impactful conservation efforts across over 70 countries. TNC partners with Mongolian herder communities, preserving the delicate balance between tradition and conservation. The expedition's funds will empower women in the community through handicraft training, support research in innovative livestock management, and enhance livestock nutrition, promoting sustainable practices for the prosperity of herding families.
“Just as our camels leave footprints in the Gobi's sands, we aim to leave a lasting impact, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for the herding families we support. Embarking on the Gobi Desert Expedition is a testament to the indomitable spirit of women who dare to face the harsh winds and chilling temperatures, both in nature and in societal challenges. This journey is a metaphor for the resilience we cultivate within ourselves and the bonds we forge amid adversity. Together, we ride towards a future where resilience, empowerment, and conservation converge to create a world worthy of the challenges we surmount." shared Christine Amour-Levar, Founder of HER Planet Earth.
Award-winning filmmaker Jacqui Hocking, known for her early work collecting climate change solutions on a UN Global Climate Expedition, will be part of the upcoming expedition. Over the past decade, she has evolved into a pioneer of purpose-driven business, building B Corp certified companies focusing on social and environmental impact. In 2022, her company, VS Story, was acquired by Redhill, a global communications firm, where she continues her mission. As a Partner at NowPartners, a global partnership of senior business leaders, Jacqui advocates for change-makers within companies, emphasizing that business is a powerful tool to achieve the Global Goals.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About HER Planet Earth
Founded in 2017, HER Planet Earth is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Singapore that aims to empower women to mitigate climate change. One of its core objectives is to inspire more women to become policymakers and agents of change to achieve social and economic equity and a healthy and thriving planet. HER Planet Earth organises challenging, often pioneering, self-funded expeditions around the world to increase awareness on environmental degradation and raise funds for programmes that empower and educate underprivileged women affected by climate change - ultimately helping them build climate change resilience. The organisation partners with nature lovers, environmentalists, scientists, polar explorers, adventurers, women’s rights advocates, corporates, tech entrepreneurs, feminists and charities that have programmes and structures in place dedicated to building a deeper connection between gender equality, genuinely sustainable development, and the protection of the environment.
The team of this HER Planet Earth Gobi Desert 2024 Adventure is formed by 15 intrepid women of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. While they are all incredibly well accomplished in their careers, they are equally passionate about protecting the environment and empowering underprivileged women. To read the team bios please click here
To donate to the mission please visit the team’s fundraising page here
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