Penelope Lea speaking at the University of Svalbard.
Foto:Robert Dreier Holand

“I dream of you making me proud”

Eco Agent Penelope Lea at the Arctic Drone Conference in Svalbard.
Sigve Losnegård

Penelope Lea (14) is the leader of Miljøagentene, The Eco Agents. 8 years old, she started fighting for the environment. At the Arctic Drone event at Svalbard this week her challenge is simple, but crucial: Do we want a better planet, a clean planet, or do we want a polluted one? The choice is easy, but requires us to follow up when we are shopping, travelling and choosing technology. Her answer to overbearing grown-ups and politicians patting her on the back is redoubling her efforts to fight for a clean planet. Penelope is dreaming of peace in a sustainable way. She said: “I dream of making my children proud. My future depends on you. I dream of you making me proud.” She maintains that the environmental battle is the starting point of all the important battles we face.

Thomas Nilsen, editor of Barents Observer,

The Arctic Drone Event was kicked off at 9 Tuesday morning by Thomas Nilsen, editor of Barents Observer, and he introduced Trond Marcussen, President of NITO Norway and president of Nordic Engineers. NITO organizes Norwegian engineers, and 50 of them are working in Svalbard. He stressed the challenge with jobs disappearing due to new tech, while new jobs and opportunities are being created. 120 participants were eagerly anticipating the many high profiled speakers, and Trond introduced Anders Martinsen, the leader of UAS and prime mover in creating the Nordic Drone Event. Anders said that his main motivation was sharing the capacities drones have for monitoring and aiding in a broad sense, before letting Rune Storvold take the stage.

Rune Storvold , head of science at the Norwegian Research Center Norut

Rune Storvold is an expert on autonomous unmanned aerial systems for marine and coastal monitoring, and head of science at the Norwegian Research Center Norut, which have had projects in both the Artic and Antarctica. He said that oil and gas companies are willing to take larger risks now in detecting oil spills. UAV tech is applicable in scan-ice operations, iceberg detection, avalanche danger assessment and mammal detection. Their integrated surveillance system consists of operational platforms, aircraft, instruments, control and communication, their goal is to be part of an intelligent self-configuring and self-optimising observing system.