Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary Environment Award

Nira Gurung
Communications Officer,ICIMOD
Khumaltar, Lalitpur
First Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Environment Awardfrom the Himalayan Environment Trust goes toDr. Andreas Schild [17 October 2008]The Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Environment Award wasawarded for the first time at a ceremony held at theHeadquarters of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF)in New Delhi, India, on 14 October 2008 -- marking boththe 20th Foundation Day of the Himalayan EnvironmentTrust (HET) and 50 years of the Indian MountaineeringFoundation. The annual award is given by the HimalayanEnvironment Trust to an organisation or individual foran outstanding lifetime contribution to the cause of theHimalayan Environment.The Honourable Dr. Karan Singh, MP of the Government ofIndia, Advisor to the Trust, and Chairman of the AwardCommittee presented the award to Dr. Andreas Schild,Director General of the International Centre for IntegratedMountain Development (ICIMOD) for his outstandingcontributions, successful leadership, and strong commitmenttowards sustainable development over the last 30 years.The award was received by Mrs. Florence Tinguely Mattliof the Swiss Embassy on behalf of Dr. Schild.

Dr. Schild, in his Vote of Acceptance, highlighted his debtas a mountain person and Swiss citizen, and the debt we allhave, to Sir Edmund Hillary. By climbing Everest togetherwith Tensing Sherpa, Sir Edmund sent a strong message tothe world that mountain people are not just helpers butequal partners, and through his subsequent activities, heshowed that environmental protection and development inthe Himalayas as elsewhere can only be done with and throughthe people who live there.

As Director General of ICIMOD, Dr. Schild stressed theimportance of transboundary and regional approachesfocussing on upstream/downstream relationships inlight of the issues being raised by climate change,and looked forward to strengthening efforts togetherwith ICIMOD’s Indian partners at national and regionallevel. Mitigation of climate change calls for globalmeasures, but adaptation has to start locally. Theaward symbolised the readiness and eagerness of theIndian authorities to support these common efforts

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