Meet Pam Le Noury, the expedition leader and citizen of the sea

Hailing from South Africa, Pam Le Noury is a marine scientist, PADI dive instructor, zodiac skipper and sailor. She has worked in and on the ocean just about every day for the past 17 years.

Pam Le Noury is a marine scientist, ocean conservationist and expedition leader, who has worked on the ocean every day for the last 17 years and visited 120 countries from the Poles to the remotest reaches of every ocean.

Plastic pollution has become increasingly apparent in her expeditions, and Pam has discovered that uninhabited islands are now covered in plastic that has floated in on the ocean currents. With a BSc in zoology and physiology and a PADI dive instructor qualification, Pam felt passionate but under-qualified to present climate talks. As ocean plastics became a hot topic, she struggled for a while to link the climate issue to the plastic issue. But she soon realized how comparable they really are after attending the Climate Reality Project training in Rio de Janeiro, in November 2014. The training armed her with the tools and confidence to start the conversation, even though she recognizes   after several years of being involved in climate change actions that it takes years to develop the knowledge base and angle.

As an expedition leader in remote wilderness destinations, Pam has a captive audience. When leading tours to the polar regions, she shows people the strong decrease in the Arctic sea ice cover and shifting landscapes, and what a particular glacier looked like before. She thinks that since COP 21 in Paris, there has definitely been a shift; it’s now officially globally recognized by everyone (not just scientists) that climate change is real. What encourages her is the observation that people can much more easily understand that it’s unwise to use a straw only once that will last in the environment forever. Likewise, people have a better grasp of the ‘invisible’ impact of carbon emissions.

Pam does her own beach clean-up when she is at home, whenever she walks her dogs. At sea, she does sporadic beach clean-ups when the opportunity arises. As the Head of Expedition Operations in her own company, she is now leading the charge in the pursuit of more sustainable practices.

An African Climate Reality Leader from South Africa, Pam Le Noury is part of a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums ranging from family dinners to international summits. Together they are building a 21st-century movement for solutions to tackle climate change and foster environmental sustainability in Africa and world-wide.