British endurance swimmer and UN Environmental Programme’s Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh has contributed in a big way yet again. Lewis’ “Speedo diplomacy” helped propel a landmark agreement to protect a vast area of Antartica, with 24 nations signing.
UN Environment head Erik Solheim said: “We are thrilled that this very special part of our planet’s oceans has been safeguarded for future generations. We are especially proud of our Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, who shuttled between the nations to help find consensus. Today’s result is a testament to his determined efforts.”
Independent.co.uk talked about Lewis’ valiant efforts saying:
Lewis Pugh has dedicated the last two years of his life to brokering this deal of The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area. We are most thrilled that 24 nations and the EU have finally came together to create the biggest protected area in the world, on land or in water – The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area in Antarctica will be bigger than France, Germany, Italy and the UK combined. The Ross Sea is the home of the Emperor penguin, the humpback whale, leopard seals and many incredible species found nowhere else on Earth.
Lewis has undertaken three swims in freezing Ross Sea to draw attention to the issue – he shuttled back and forth to Moscow to meet their leadership. At the time Russia was the only country holding back from signing the Agreement. Given the relations between the US and Russia at the moment, this deal is astonishing. It reinforces his belief in the power of building bridges – bridges between people, between nations and between ideals.
Read more about this important news here.
Also, here are a few words from Lewis himself:
I’d like to share some wonderful news with you. Last week, 24 nations and the EU came together to create the biggest protected area in the world, on land or in water. The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area in Antarctica will be bigger than France, Germany, Italy and the UK combined. The Ross Sea is the home of the Emperor penguin, the humpback whale, leopard seals and many incredible species found nowhere else on Earth. It’s a dream come true! I dedicated the last two years of my life to brokering this deal. After undertaking three swims in freezing Ross Sea to draw attention to the issue – I shuttled back and forth to Moscow to meet their leadership. At the time Russia was the only country holding back from signing the Agreement. Given the relations between the US and Russia at the moment, this deal is astonishing. It reinforces my belief in the power of building bridges – bridges between people, between nations and between ideals. You can read more about my negotiations below, where you will also find my updated biography. And some pictures of this incredible part of our world. Could you please share this with your wider team. With much gratitude LEWIS PUGH | UNITED NATIONS PATRON OF THE OCEANS
Lewis Pugh is a maritime lawyer, an ocean advocate, a pioneer swimmer and a sought-after inspirational speaker. He is the only person to have completed a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. In 2007 he became the first person to undertake a swim across the icy waters of the North Pole. To date he has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history. Each of these seemingly impossible feats were done to raise awareness about the vulnerability of our oceans and their importance to humanity. And he won’t stop there. He continually redefines his own impossible, in the same way that any company must, in an ever- changing world.
Lewis’ speeches have received widespread acclaim. His speech on leadership at the BIF Conference in Rhode Island was voted as one of the “7 Most Inspiring Videos on the Web”. His speeches at TEDGlobal have been viewed by over 2.5 million people.
Lewis Pugh has also received a number of awards including France and South Africa’s highest honours and the Freedom of the City of London. In 2010, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader for his “potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through inspiring leadership.”
Lewis’s accomplishments have received extensive media coverage by the BBC, Good Morning America, CNN, Jon Stewart, National Geographic, Sky News, Al Jazeera, Jay Leno and many more. His autobiography “Achieving the Impossible” is a Bestseller and was chosen for Oprah’s Exclusive Book List.
Lewis Pugh is one of the world’s leading inspirational speakers. He has addressed and influenced many international organisations. Coca Cola chose Lewis to address their world-wide leadership team on their 125th anniversary. When Unilever wanted to double the size of their business and half their environmental footprint, they chose Lewis to speak to their management team. And when Microsoft needed to become more customer-centric, they picked Lewis to speak to them about the “Radical Tactical Shift” that enabled him to complete the first swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest.
Lewis’ speaking topics include:
- Achieving the Impossible
- Vision | Goal setting
- Planning and preparation
- Power of the mind
- Self belief
- Overcoming obstacles and setbacks
- Risk | Protecting the environment