Monday, April 28, 2014

Climb the CN tower to support biodiversity

I guess it is like preaching to the choir when I attempt to explain to you what the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is. But just in case - it represents the world's largest non-governmental conservation organization with more than 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting some 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. WWF is a foundation, which means that most of the funding comes from donations. Actually more than half of their money is derived from individual donations, the remainder comes from governmental and corporate sources.

The WWF focuses on the conservation of the three biomes that contain most of the world's biodiversity: oceans, forests, and freshwater ecosystems. Traditionally they are concerned with endangered species, pollution and climate change but over time as the organisation grew the mission got broader:

Over time, our work has evolved from protecting particular wildlife species and habitats to protecting life on Earth – including our own. Today, our work is about life, because everything we do is about securing the future of healthy, thriving ecosystems. And living, because the choices we make will decide that future—for us and for all species.

Overall WWF has done so much good work that supporting them seems to be a natural thing to do. Worldwide there are always campaigns to raise funds and many of them are often very creative. A very big event here in the region is the Annual Canada Life CN Tower climb

The CN Tower is Toronto's landmark. It was completed in 1976 and with 553m it became the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower at the time. It held both records for 34 years until the completion of both Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower. The tower has a restaurant and an observation deck with a glass floor - nothing for people with acrophobia (fear of heights). One can do a lot of crazy things on the tower, the newest addition being the Edge walk. The Edge walk is a full circle hands-free walk on a 1.5m wide ledge encircling the top of the Tower’s main pod, 356m above the ground.

The annual stair climb to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund is not as challenging as the Edge walk but for sure it requires some courage and a fair bit of endurance. This popular event draws thousands of people who want to climb the 1 776 stairs that lead to the observation platform. Normally, a visitor would take one of the elevators which takes you less than a minute. Climbing all those stairs (145 flights) takes about 15-25 min. The really fast people make it in 5-10 min. I am fairly certain that I would need at least half an hour if I could make it all. That's reason enough to demonstrate my highest respect for everyone who will climb up there this week. The daughter of friends of our family will be among the climbers and I am shamelessly promoting her climb and her fundraising efforts here: Go for it, Rowena!

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