13 year old
Malaysian girl wins Greenpeace’s Flag for the Future Arctic
March 16, 2013
LONDON – Dame Vivienne
Westwood, the world renowned fashion designer, has selected the
winning flag design that will be planted on the seabed at the North
Pole next month, closing the global competition run by the World
Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and Greenpeace as part of Greenpeace’s campaign to Save the Arctic.
The contest inspired youth
from around the world to create a flag that would symbolize peace,
hope and global community, as a statement of the commitment of
millions of people who have signed a petition to protect the Arctic
from oil drilling and overfishing. The contest ran for three months
and inspired designs from young people from 54 countries.
The winning design was
submitted by Sarah Bartrisyia, a 13-year-old Girl Guide from Malaysia,
whose winning entry featured seven brightly colored doves and an
Arctic starflower. The seven doves, she said, represented each of the
seven continents; each carrying an olive branch which when brought
together formed a laurel wreath, a symbol of Arctic protection.
Sarah’s winning design will
be produced as a titanium flag to be planted at the North Pole, four
kilometres beneath the ice, and put on the seabed in a time capsule
containing the signatures of millions of Arctic defenders. At the
moment, no single country owns the international waters around the
North Pole, but as climate change causes the sea ice to melt,
countries and companies are moving in to exploit the resources
including oil and fish in the Arctic Ocean.
“We need to protect the
Arctic because it is the home of many indigenous peoples and many
animal species. It should be declared a global sanctuary,” said Sarah.
"The creativity of young
people is one of the most powerful tools we have to build a better
world. The winning flag for the future is a fantastic representation
of peace, hope and global community, and I am proud that it’s on the
way to the North Pole,” said Dame Westwood.
The judging panel also
included artists and atv presenter, as well as15-year-old Aishah
Morshed, a Girl Guide from Ireland. Aishah is passionate about the
environment, which she learns about through guiding, school and from
regular visits to see family in Bangladesh where she has witnessed the
impacts of climate change firsthand.
“I can’t bear to think of an
Arctic without icebergs and polar bears; even though the North Pole is
far from where I live, I feel a personal sense of responsibility to
protect it, which I hope others will share and join the campaign to
Save the Arctic,” Aishah said.
The Arctic is one of the
last pristine places on earth, home to more than four million people
as well as unique animals found nowhere else on the planet. Greenpeace
is working with youth organizations like the World Association of Girl
Guides and Girl Scouts to ensure that this precious region is
protected for generations to come.