Traveling light, Oscar Lang is on a big trip supporting a nonprofit organization protecting the world’s biggest rainforest.
Several weeks ago, he carried all his belongings as he cycled through Quesnel, B.C.
Lang began his 25,000-kilometre journey raising funds for Amazon Watch in late June from Deadhorse, Alaska.
“It’s been really great so far,” Lang said at the Quesnel Visitor Centre.
“I’ve gotten to see so many beautiful landscapes and wild animals and have met wonderful people, and I think it’s really highlighted the importance of protecting the natural beauty that we have around us.”
Lang anticipates his solo, frugal journey to Patagonia, the southernmost tip of South America, will take 18 months to complete.
He’s doing it with his own savings, and before setting out researched nonprofit organizations supporting environmental justice and human rights — values he says he embraces.
On its website, Amazon Watch notes it was founded in 1996 to protect the Amazon rainforest and advance the rights of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin.
Lang was born and raised in France and has spent the past five years in the U.S. and Canada working various jobs, including instructing skiing, tree planting and wildland firefighting.
“It’s definitely been a journey of learning for myself,” he said. “I think our whole society is recognizing the role Indigenous people are playing in this fight against climate change and the importance of supporting them.”
As he left the Quesnel Visitor Centre, Lang said he would be cycling through the Chilcotin Mountains and areas such as Tŝilhqox Biny (Chilko Lake).
He usually camps along the way and shares his stories of what he’s learned and seen, including the wildlife and changing climate, with others, some of whom have invited him into their homes to spend a night.
“If it inspires them to look into what Amazon Watch is doing, and to have a change in behaviour — maybe they want to take up cycling more or have a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, that’s great for me,” Lang said, of what he hopes others take away from his transcontinental fundraiser.
To learn more about Lang’s campaign supporting Amazon Watch go to www.every.org.
Lang is also providing weekly updates of his bicycle trip on Instagram.
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