4 August 2020

Darwin200 Undertakes Circumnavigation of UK to Conduct British Ocean Health Check in Preparation for Global Planetary Conservation Initiative

Darwin200 Undertakes Circumnavigation of UK to Conduct British Ocean Health Check in Preparation for Global Planetary Conservation Initiative
Darwin200 has chartered the stunning tall ship Pelican of London for its UK voyage. Managed by charity Adventure Under Sail, it offers a unique environment for educating young people; encouraging equality, inclusiveness and passion through adventure and challenge
UK-based Darwin200 Limited announces today that it will utilise the stunning tall ship, Pelican of London, to circumnavigate the UK with specialist environmental scientists onboard to mentor a group of young scientists. These scientists will conduct a programme of observations, experiments, discussions, and problem-solving sessions related to the health of the UK's surrounding waters.

  • The voyage sets sail from Folkestone on 5 August and in a clockwise circum-navigation of the British Isles, will call in at Southampton, Plymouth, Cardiff, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Hebrides, St Kilda, Orkney, Shetland, Edinburgh and London, where the journey ends with a sail-through Tower Bridge. It will be moored in London for a week where live lectures will be broadcast off the ship.
Stewart McPherson, Darwin200 project leader, says, "In preparation of the Darwin200 global voyage, we're embarking on a UK-wide initiative that brings along ten new scientists to carry out a detailed science programme throughout the 59-day project. We're planning on a host of activities such as live lectures, citizen science project updates, and we'll be publishing findings from the science programme on a daily basis, where we hope to engage tens of thousands of young people across the UK to look at the health of the UK waters and better understand marine conservation."
Darwin200 is delighted to partner with the University of Plymouth to lead the science programme onboard the UK voyage, which has been designed by Drs Charlotte Braungardt and Richard Sandford from the University's School of Geography, Earth and Environment Science. Its aim is to develop a solid understanding of the marine environment through a broad range of activities, observations and experiments that explore the physical structure and chemical composition of the ocean, its ecology and life sustaining functions for the planet. 
Dr Braungardt states, "We're extremely pleased to be involved in this project and mentoring the onboard scientists where we will encourage them to investigate the human impact on this awe-inspiring environment and discuss ways to address it on all levels, from individual behaviour to high-tech and global governance solutions."
The UK launch will test the outreach platform and onboard systems for the global voyage, which will harness the legacy of Charles Darwin by re-tracing his journey onboard HMS Beagle 200 years ago. 

The prime objective of the global project is to find 200 next-generation global conservation leaders and inspire 200 million people by providing a platform of free, interactive resources for all school children, university students, teachers and the general public. 

During a 2-year around the world voyage, currently planned to start in 2021, five global research projects will be conducted and the 'world's most exciting classroom' will visit the same 50 ports where Darwin made landfall. At these ports, the ship will be met by teams of 4 young scientists, called Darwin200 Leaders, who will use the ship as a floating laboratory to conduct the same experiments Darwin did himself, discover changes that have occurred over the last 200 years and put forward solutions to reverse any detrimental impact to the natural ecosystem.
Stewart concludes, "The team's vision is to change the world by creating the next wave of determined young conservation leaders, whose careers spanning several decades, will build a brighter future for our planet."

  • The UK voyage marks the start of this epic vision and the Darwin200 team are calling on anyone who would like to get involved in the global voyage, be that a young scientist, a mentor, sponsor or part of the crew sailing from port-to-port. Let the adventure begin!
SOURCE: Darwin200