In this special Planet Pod episode Amanda catches up with renowned arctic explorer, advocate and visionary Pen Hadow who talks about what inspired him to push the boundaries of exploration in the arctic region.

Pen describes the disturbing truth of what he has seen with his own eyes – the gradual destruction of what he calls the “floating ice reef ecosystem” of the arctic.  He highlights the vulnerability of an entire habitat from unchecked commercial fishing, international shipping and mineral extraction in the region.

Pen then gives a call to action for all of us to tackle climate change and highlights the important international advocacy work of the 90o North Unit.

The 90º North Unit, founded by Pen, is the only organisation exclusively dedicated to protecting the wildlife and floating ice-reef ecosystem in the Arctic Ocean’s international waters. The Unit is catalysing the conservation process within the United Nations to create the world’s largest protected marine area by 2032.

Many thanks to Charles Russell Speechlys for hosting this podcast.

Our guest:


As an explorer Pen Hadow has pushed back the boundaries of what is known.

His iconic solo trek from Canada to the North Pole has never been repeated, and his leadership of scientific exploration on the Arctic Ocean is without equal. His mission now is to protect the wildlife of the North Pole’s international waters. He is today’s quintessential explorer.

Hadow believes exploration of the natural world has been never more relevant in human history, with the continued existence of our species now dependent on improving our understanding and management of the natural world. For example, with the Arctic’s sea ice habitat fast disappearing, international research and conservation measures are now urgently needed to protect its threatened unique wildlife and floating ice-reef ecosystem.

He continues to lead an influential non-governmental scientific and public engagement programme, Arctic Mission – an annual expedition programme in support of the international advocacy work of the 90º North Unit.


Websites:  90º North Unit      Pen Haddow

Twitter: @penhadow    @ArcticMission
Pen’s Instagram account

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