We’re very excited to announce a new partnership with a cool expedition and project launched by two ambitious young leaders. Cycling Silk is a year-long biking expedition following the Silk Road between Europe and Asia to explore existing and proposed transboundary conservation initiatives in mountainous regions along the way.
The Cycling Silk team – Kate Harris and Melissa Yule – will use bikes to enable the autonomous and adventurous exploration of remote transboundary wildernesses, and to reinforce the notion of the Silk Road – and world itself – as a landscape of continuity and connection, despite the borders that attempt to divide it. In a single uninterrupted push lasting at least a year, starting in Istanbul, Turkey and finishing in Leh, India, they will investigate existing and proposed TBPAs encompassing some of the world’s most spectacular mountains.
The expedition aims —
1) To investigate with borderless minds and hearts the pros and cons, successes and shortcomings, complexities and challenges of transboundary wilderness conservation in the mountains and deserts of the Silk Road.
2) To explore the actual and potential impact of transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) on landscapes, communities, and the geopolitics of regional peace.
3) To share our explorations through writing, photography, and film, and raise awareness about transboundary conservation.
4) To make others fall in love with this wild part of the world, through all of the above, since making people care about a place is usually prerequisite for its conservation.
Kate and Mel are diligently preparing for their journey (and training of course!) — conducting interviews with transboundary conservation stakeholders on local, regional and international levels, exploring landscapes in existing or proposed transboundary protected areas, carefully making plans, gathering partners and sponsors, carb loading and packing! They hit the road on 7 January…stay tuned for updates!