power to the people

indiaAs the year draws to a close, for many it is a time to reflect on what we have experienced through twelve months, contemplate what we have and revisit our hopes and dreams. Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, Jane Crouch, considers the week that was and the future that can be…

“Along with many people around the globe, at Intrepid we hoped that our world leaders would make significant progress at Copenhagen and come to a sound agreement on carbon emissions reduction targets in the form of a treaty. An agreement that would herald actions heeding the warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that global emissions must not increase beyond 2015, otherwise we will pass the dangerous threshold of two degrees or more warming and our precious home, planet earth, will be irrevocably damaged.

Disappointingly, the talks made little progress and time is ticking by. Perhaps one of the best ways we can individually direct our demands for change is by starting with ourselves and asking “How can I make an effective and positive impact as part of the solution? What can I do personally at home, at work and in how I travel to reduce my carbon emissions? How might I make better purchasing choices?” Perhaps it’s more people power that’s needed. Collectively we must continue to speak out and maintain hope.

One person who has been actively campaigning to bring empowerment to the people is Secretary General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan. In a world where 1 billion people live in slums, 2.5 billion people have no access to adequate sanitation services and where we have made incredible technological and medical advances, yet still 1 woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth every minute – Irene makes a strong case for saying that improving human rights will reduce poverty. Irene Khan has recently launched her book, The Unheard Truth – Poverty and Human Rights in which she argues with passion, backed up by analysis, that ‘fighting poverty is about fighting deprivation, exclusion, insecurity and powerlessness. People living in poverty lack material resources, but that more than that, they lack control over their own lives. To tackle global poverty, we need to focus on the human rights abuses that drive poverty and keep people poor. Giving people a say in their own future, and demanding that they be treated with dignity and respect for their rights is the way to make progress.’

Intrepid Travel and The Intrepid Foundation are proud supporters of Amnesty International and their critically needed human rights campaigning around the world. We have one copy of The Unheard Truth, personally autographed and dedicated to Intrepid Foundation supporters. If you would like to be in the draw to win this book, please make a donation to Amnesty International (any branch) between now and 15 January 2010 and then email a copy of your receipt to intrepidexpress@intrepidtravel.com The highest donor wins the book.

Thank-you and warm wishes to all Intrepid Foundation supporters in 2009, who helped us contribute more than AU$440,000 this year to more than 40 organisations, including Amnesty International.”

* photo by Somenath Mukhopadhyay – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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The release of carbon emissions in the air is an issue that should be further discussed in nations worlwide so a solution for that may come up. And, yes, as you said, we gotta ask ourselves what we can do to protect the environment and reduce possible threats.

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