Mountains. Rainforests. The ocean. These critical Earth systems provide some of the most basic needs for life on Earth: water, oxygen, a stable climate. But these systems are increasingly at risk due to global environmental challenges like climate change.
That’s why National Geographic and Rolex have partnered to support trailblazing scientific research, expeditions, and solutions to increase our understanding of the threats facing the planet’s life support systems and drive action to address them.
Together, the partnership supports a series of expeditions to examine the impact of climate and environmental change on the planet’s most fragile iconic environments, to document the changes occurring and the implications for people and wildlife.
Our rainforests are more vulnerable than ever. As one of the most essential ecosystems on our planet, rainforests are home to more than half of the world’s plant and animal species. Not only do rainforests foster a wide range of biological diversity and a major aggregation of freshwater rivers, they are also a vital influence on continental climate cycles, acting as natural climate stabilizers. Threatened by large-scale land-use activities and climate change, the critical ecosystems of tropical rainforests are nearing their tipping point.
Protecting and restoring Earth’s rainforests is crucial to our planet’s survival. That’s why National Geographic Society, with the support of Rolex, created a unique tropical rainforest vulnerability index (TFVI), with leading scientists and conservationists to detect and evaluate the vulnerability of global tropical rainforests. TFVI uses satellite data to examine tropical regions systematically. The science indicates that each rainforest reacts differently to different stressors and therefore, each region and subregion requires a diversity of solutions.
The 2021 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Tupungato Volcano Expedition, in collaboration with the Government of Chile, explored a critical water tower in the Southern Andes by placing the highest weather station in the Southern and Western Hemispheres. The expedition built on successes from the 2019 Mount Everest Expedition.
Since 2010, Santiago and central Chile have faced below average precipitation and the longest drought in modern meteorological record (since 1915). This expedition explored the most vulnerable water tower in the Southern Andes where the capital city of Santiago, Chile (population of more than 6 million) relies on this water tower for its water supply.
National Geographic Society + Rolex
Our innovative partnership supports exploration of some of the most extreme environments on the planet to gain insights into the systems that support life on Earth.Learn More