Press release from MOUNTAIN LEGACY  23 JULY 2019

Pakistani Didar Ali to receive Hillary Medal

Wakhi advocate and cultural preservationist Didar Ali will receive the 2019 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions.

Mr. Ali is a native of Gulmit, also known as Gul-e-Gulmit, in the  Upper Hunza of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. Gulmit (pop. 5000) is an ancient town, set amid mountains and glaciers, and the people are Khik (called Wakhi by outsiders). The language is related to ancient Farsi and is spoken by a shrinking cohort in the Pamir region of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and China.

For the past seven years, Mr. Ali has dedicated himself to the preservation and promotion of Wakhi culture and language. After completing an MBA in Pakistan and a degree in Tourism Management in Austria, Mr. Ali returned to Gulmit and initiated a panoply of projects ranging from a cookbook of traditional Wakhi recipes to the first  Wakhi language primer for school children; both of these projects were sponsored by the Aga Khan Rural Support Program.

As CEO of the non-profit Mountains & People, Didar Ali has been a leader in community tourism development, environmental protection, and development of modern employment opportunities for Wakhi youth through training in computer science and internet marketing.

Mr. Ali has also received wide praise for his work with the Bulbulik Heritage Centre, which conserves and promotes traditional Wakhi music and dance, offering a safe place (despite strong taboos) for instruction of girls as well as boys.

An avid trekker whose favorite expedition is the historic Kilik Pass (elevation 4,827 m), which has served as the primary caravan route across the Pamirs, Didar expressed satisfaction at receiving the Hillary Medal in the centennial year of Sir Edmund’s birth.

“I have known several of the great climbers of the world, including Nazir Sabir-Pakistan, who is also from Gojal valley, and Reinhold Messner, but the legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand is of a different order. His contribution in socio-economic development, environmental protection, and promotion of the value of adventure is truly colossal. He will live forever as an inspiration for all of us to challenge ourselves to get out in the world, and to make it a better place.”

Dr. Kumar Mainali, president of Mountain Legacy, announced the selection of Mr. Didar Ali:

 “As we observe the 100th birthday of Sir Edmund Hillary, we are pleased to be presenting the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal to a rising star in grassroots advocacy. Mr. Ali’s ambitious and clear-eyed projects augur well for future generations of local leadership and participation in mountain stewardship.”

The award will be presented at the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara, Nepal, on December 11 (International Mountain Day) during the Nepal Mountaineering Association’s fifth annual Mountain Festival.

More information: http://www.hillarymedal.com/medal2019da.html

Bulbulik Heritage Centre, Gulmit: http://gesws.org/projects/bulbulik/ 

Contact: Seth Sicroff, Director of Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal Project: 01 (607) 256-0102

 

 

 

 

PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, JR. AND XYLEM WATERMARK INVITE THE WORLD COMMUNITY TO JOIN MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION CITIZENS FROM 146 COUNTRIES IN CONSERVING AND PROTECTING WATER RESOURCES WITH THE 2019 EARTHECHO WATER

Starting March 22, the date designated by the United Nations as World Water Day, Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s EarthEcho International and Xylem Watermark invite people everywhere to be part of a global movement to protect critical water resources by participating in the EarthEcho Water Challenge. Individuals, schools, businesses, and community organizations can make their communities healthier and more sustainable through the simple actions of testing water quality locally, sharing data internationally and taking action to protect local waterways.

“The EarthEcho Water Challenge is designed to help anyone, anywhere take action to make their community stronger and safer by protecting a natural resource we depend on every day.  Understanding where our water comes from and how each of us can play a role in protecting it is a great first step in learning how our natural resources connect individuals and communities around the globe,” said EarthEcho founder Philippe Cousteau Jr. “By participating in the EarthEcho Water Challenge, anyone can make a positive impact starting today.”

The EarthEcho Water Challenge runs annually from March 22 through December 31 and is comprised of three easy steps:

  • Test – It all begins by understanding the health of the waterways in your community. Get started by purchasing a simple water quality test kit at monitorwater.org.
  • Share – Participants share their water quality data online through the EarthEcho Water Challenge database and post their stories and photos at monitorwater.org or through social media using #MonitorWater.
  • Protect – Armed with knowledge about local water resources, and anyone can use the information and tools available at monitorwater.org to protect their local waterways every day.

World Water Day 2019 also marks the continuation of the EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassadors initiative with the announcement of a new class of young environmental leaders from across the United States who will increase knowledge of local water resources throughout their communities by leading citizens through water quality monitoring events and water restoration and conservation programs.  Learn more about the 2019 Water Challenge Ambassadors visiting: http://monitorwater.org/ambassadors 

 

For more information about participating in the EarthEcho Water Challenge, please visit www.monitorwater.org, follow EarthEcho on social media, and join the conversation with the hashtag #MonitorWater:

Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/EarthEcho

Twitter: @EarthEcho

Instagram: @EarthEcho

 

Mountain climber and humanitarian Dr. Daniel Mazur will receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal “for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions.”   

The award will be presented at the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara, Nepal, on December 11 (International Mountain Day) during the Nepal Mountaineering Association’s fifth annual Mountain Festival.

Read more ...