A German beer bottle is washed ashore at the coast of a remote Lofoten Island in the Arctic Ocean. Where did it come from? Has it travelled the entire way from Germany? Dresden film-maker Stefan Krones has explored this question: with an impressive result and an appeal to all of us … an appeal that did not fail to resonate with us, the Valdivia team! It is about the future of our planet and our children, and it is the ocean research boat Valdivia we are named after that navigates us.
The UN Ocean Decade
Oceans and the seas cover about 70% of our planet. They control the climate, produce air and rain water, provide us with energy, raw materials, food, water ways, recreation and endless natural wonders. And yet, what we know about them is still very incomplete. Science knows more about the surface of the moon and the mars than about many parts of the deep sea. Apart from that, there is the stress that our oceans are nowadays exposed to – from the consquences of ever more industrialized fishery to the uncountable amounts of waste gathering there.
For these reasons, the United Nations have declared the years 2021 to 2030 The Ocean Decade. Their goal is to better understand the oceans and to sustanaibly ensure a positive future for them: good health, full of life, with protected areas – but also as an economic area for our everyday needs. Seven core goals have been identified for this purpose, the first of which being the reduction of pollution through harmful substances such as plastic waste. For more information on The Ocean Decade, go here www.oceandecade.org.
Our Commitment for Oceanic Life
We at Valdivia are used to looking ahead into the future, making sure we reach our customers’ goals in a sustainable way by placing the best possible candidates for them. So the word Future also serves as a headline for our commitment to sustainability in environmental, social and governance questions (ESG). And just like with our Children’s Future Foundation, we want to focus on one specific environment topic, giving targeted support and raising awareness.
Finding the right topic was not very hard for us. The expedition of research boat Valdivia, dating back over 120 years, and The UN Ocean Decade are our starting point. We want to campaign for the protection of ocean as a habitat and, as a first step, make the Northdrift project more popular. It deals with one of the most pressing problems of the oceans, the downright unfathomable pollution through plastic waste and other harmful substances.
Waste Going to Sea
It takes a plastic bag as much as 20 years to decompose in sea water. Beverage cans take 200 years, disposbale diapers or plastic bags 450 years.1 The German beer bottle Steffen Krones found at the Lofoten Island coast (Northern Norway), therefore, would only have fully disappeared in 2472.
For Steffen Krones, finding it kicked off an impulse. Together with engineer Paul Weiß, he built a floatable GPS tracker, released it into the river Elbe near Dresden and followed it until it reached the Lofoten. With impressive pictures, the film documents the route of the plastic waste and investigates the interrelation with the terrible pollution of the Arctic Ocean.
It also introduces Kris Jensen, an Inuit working as a travel guide in the Arctic Ocean. He wants to give tourists an understanding of the beauty of nature with his work, but he also wants to sensitize for the influence of humans on the pollution of the oceans. Kris and Steffen share the wish to end the plastic waste pollution of our world. Their stories, the highs and lows of their struggle to present a solution, showing how we are in this together, each and everyone of us, but also how we all have the means to fight for change.
The Northdrift – the Film
The film will be screened in selected movie theaters until January 2023 and will also be available for purchase from early 2023. This website has more information on the film website http://thenorthdrift.com.
Would you like to do something in order to support specific projects and campaign for an end to pollution in the oceans? You can find different options on the film website – or simply share our post right here on LinkedIn and other social media.
1 NABU (Naturschutzbund Deutschland) e. V., 2019