With WWF in Lofoten
The WWF annual conference is being held in Svolvær this week. Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess gave the opening remarks, in which she emphasised the importance of making green choices in everyday life.
WWF employees from around the globe have convened in the north of Norway, in Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands, to lay plans for the organisation’s activities for the next several years.
An important year for the environment
According to Secretary General of WWF Norway, Nina Jensen, 2015 is going to be an important year for the environment, with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. Climate change will of course be on the agenda of the conference in Lofoten as well, together with other global issues such as oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, rainforest deforestation, overfishing, and poaching of endangered species.
Green choices in everyday life
Crown Princess Mette-Marit was invited to open the conference in light of her longstanding commitment to environmental issues. This is a commitment she shares with His Majesty The King, who served as the first president of WWF Norway when it was founded in 1970.
In her remarks, the Crown Princess quoted King Harald. During his visit at Troll research station in Antarctica earlier this year, the King said of the generation growing up today: “Our children are going to be wiser than we have been.”
In her remarks, the Crown Princess spoke along the same lines, focusing on the need for people to make sensible, smart, green choices in their daily lives. She pointed out that even though a lot of research on climate changes has been conducted and we know more about them than ever before, many of us find it difficult to make the right choices on a day-to-day basis.
“We need to emphasise green choices people can make in their everyday life, and make it simpler, meaningful – and fun – for everyone to participate.”
Met with environmentally aware students
Crown Princess Mette-Marit is concerned with getting young people on board to fight for a better climate. She is very interested in hearing their ideas. Thus a visit to Lofoten folk high school, whose motto is Greener – Tougher –Warmer, fit well into her programme.
The visit took place in Kabelvåg in the morning, prior to the opening of the conference. The Crown Princess was given an introduction to the school’s activities, and joined the students for lunch. During the luncheon, the students shared their views on the environment and life at a folk high school, and how the beautiful nature around them affects their lives.
The Crown Princess was also able to view a photography exhibition displayed by the photography students at the school, which focused on photos of nature and of people interacting with the natural surroundings.
Arrived in Svolvær by sailboat
Crown Princess Mette-Marit took the sea route to the WWF conference. Lofoten folk high school has a beautiful Nordland boat, a type of sailboat that was used as a fishing vessel in the regions for centuries. The student crew sailed the boat, with the Crown Princess on board, to the harbour in Svolvær.
The Crown Princess enjoyed the spectacular Lofoten landscape from the sea. In her speech, she explained how her years of commitment to the environment are rooted in her enjoyment of nature, and in experiences growing up on the southern coast of Norway.