NUR-SULTAN – British polar athlete and explorer and the cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, Rosie Stancer, is currently on an expedition to the Aralkum desert in Kazakhstan, reported the British Embassy in Kazakhstan on its Instagram.
Stancer leads the team with her polar teammate Pom Oliver. “This will be the first full crossing of the breadth of the Aralkum by foot, covering a distance of some 600 km, crossing each delineation of the original shoreline as it shrunk over the past six decades,” the mission statement reads on Stancer’s website.
Stancer has been an accomplished Polar athlete since 1996. In 2003 she skied to the South Pole. In 2007, she went on a journey along the frozen Arctic Ocean for 84 days.
Stancer is a cousin of Queen Elizbeth II through her Scottish family connections. She holds an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Essex, the Explorers Club Medal, The Mirror Pride of Britain medal and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is Vice President of the SES – Scientific Exploration Society.
Aralkum is a new desert formed on the site of the dried up Aral Sea. The sandy-saline desert lies on the territory of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. As a result of desertification, the biodiversity of the region has decreased by 200 species of plants and animals. At the moment, the Aralkum desert covers an area of more than 38,000 square kilometers.