Mountain Legacy Update
August 28, 2016
A Medal Presentation event will be held on December 11 (International Mountain Day) of this year in Kathmandu. The theme of the event will be Science and Survival: Mountain Livelihoods, Recreation and Environments. More information
August 7, 2015
Jack D. Ives, eminent montologist and Honorary Research Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University (Ottawa), has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement edition of the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal.
Montology is the interdisciplinary study of all aspects of mountains, including highland-lowland linkages, and focuses particularly on mitigating and managing disasters, improving stewardship of mountain ecosystems, and sustaining mountain livelihoods and culture.
Dr. Kumar P. Mainali, research professor at the University of Maryland and President of Mountain Legacy, released a statement explaining that the award is presented "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions. The medal both recognizes Sir Edmund Hillary's own service on behalf of mountain people and their environment and also encourages the continuing emulation of his example."
Mainali emphasized that "This is the first Lifetime Achievement edition of the Hillary Medal. The standard Medal has been awarded six times since 2003, always to activists still working in the field. The winner of a seventh standard edition of the Hillary Medal will be announced in the next weeks. This Lifetime Achievement award, however, is something quite special for us," Mainali said, “and it recognizes a giant in montology whose achievements are unlikely to be equaled."
Dr. Ives will be presented with the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal at an event in Ottawa... to be announced shortly.
February 7, 2014
You are invited! Peter is the son of Sir Edmund Hillary, and he has also climbed Mt Everest in 1990 and 2002. He works with the Himalayan Trust and foundations from the US, Canada, Australia, UK and Germany, collaborating in community programmes that his father initiated in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal. Peter Hillary represents the Hillary family on the Hillary Medal Selecting Committee.
On behalf of Mountain Legacy and the Hillary family I am pleased to extend this invitation to attend the presentation of the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal to Dr. Harshwanti Bisht from Dehra Dun in India for her environmental and community work in the Gangotri Himalaya. The ceremony will get under way at 7:30pm on the 17th of March at ICIMOD headquarters in Kathmandu, and I will be there to speak and make the presentation. I look forward to seeing you there.
For more information, see HillaryMedal.com.
August 12, 2013
Professor of economics, and conservationist, and mountaineer Dr. Harshwanti Bisht has been selected to receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal. According to Dr. Beau Beza, Program Director in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the award is presented "for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions. The medal both recognizes Sir Edmund Hillary's own service on behalf of mountain people and their environment and also encourages the continuing emulation of his example."
In 1981 Harshwanti Bisht, Rekha Sharma and Chandra Prabha Aitwal were the first three women to summit the main peak of Nanda Devi (7,816m). Bisht was also a member of the Indian expedition to Mt. Everest, in 1984. However, as Beza points out, the Hillary Medal is awarded for philanthropic achievements, not for sports achievements:
For 25 years, since 1989, Dr. Bisht has labored to improve conditions in the Gangotri area of Uttarakhand, at the headwaters of the Ganges in northern India. She has planted tens of thousands of saplings, organized eco-awareness campaigns, propagated endangered medicinal herbs, and introduced ecotourism standards to an area that had been ravaged by climate change and unregulated pilgrimage.
Dr. Bisht is scheduled to receive the Hillary Medal on March 17, 2014, at a presentation in Kathmandu hosted by ICIMOD. More
May 30, 2011
Ang Rita Sherpa, Senior Program Manager for The Mountain Institute, received the 2011 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal in the course of festivities for the Khumjung School Jubilee Celebration in Sagarmatha National Park on May 29, 2011. Mr. Sherpa has dedicated his career to the management of remote mountainous protected areas. His focus has been on conserving ecosystems while expanding sustainable livelihoods for mountain communities.
For additional information or interview requests,contact Kumar P. Mainali, President of Mountain Legacy at email@example.com or Dr. Beau Beza, Chair of the Hillary Medal Selection at firstname.lastname@example.org. More
November 17, 2010
Scott MacLennan, founder and Executive Director of The Mountain Fund, received the 2010 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal at a formal dinner hosted by the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.
MacLennan's work in Nepal includes the rehabilitation of two monasteries, the staffing of a public school, and the foundation of school for HIV-affected children, two clinics and a training hospital. He has set up voluntourism programs, and mentored new NGOs around the world. MacLennan is currently engaged in the start-up of a new Leadership Program for Nepali girls and women. He is truly a philanthropist in the mould of Sir Edmund Hillary.
August 1, 2009 We've moved our old Volunteer Opportunities in Mountainous Regions page to this new Web site, done some grooming, and added a link for The Mountain Fund (www.mountainfund.org) Note that the listed opportunities are NOT in any way associated with Mountain Legacy.
July 24, 2009 We've just started a Resources page. It will need to be groomed and reordered. Meanwhile, please forward your suggestions.
Left to right: Peter Hillary, Dr. Beau Beza (Chair of Hillary Medal Selection Committee), Sue Badyari (CEO of World Expeditions), 2010 Hillary Medal winner Scott MacLennan (Director of Mountain Fund)Sponsor:
World Expeditions, a leader in small-group eco-adventures, donated Scott MacLennan's roundtrip ticket from Kathmandu to Melbourne so that he could attend the presentation ceremony.
The award will be presented later this year at a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia. For further information, contact Dr. Beau Beza, Chair of the Hillary Medal Selection Committee: email@example.com.
Sir Edmund Hillary
July 20, 1919 – January 11, 2008
On July 20 we celebrate the 90th birthday of Sir Edmund Hillary. Mountain Legacy is calling for a United Nations resolution to make this date an international celebration of Sport for Development and Peace.
In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay vaulted onto the international stage by completing the first ascent of Mt. Everest. Surprisingly, an event that has been etched in our collective consciousness as the ultimate human triumph on Earth gave rise to an achievement of far greater importance. Sir Edmund found in his Himalayan adventure and his subsequent celebrity the inspiration and the opportunity to "return the favor" by assisting the people who were his comrades on that climb, and by helping to protect their beautiful homeland. Through his personal efforts, and through the foundations that he helped establish in New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and Germany, Sir Edmund built some 30 schools, two airstrips, two hospitals, and 11 village clinics. He assisted in the restoration of monasteries, instituted scholarship and teacher training programs, and established reforestation projects in Khumbu, Mustang, and the Annapurna region. In every case, Sir Edmund undertook projects at the specific request of the local residents.
In recognition of Sir Edmund's life-long commitment to the welfare of mountain people and their environment and in the hope of inspiring others to emulate his example, Mountain Legacy initiated the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal both recognizes Sir Edmund's life-long commitment to the welfare of mountain people and their environment and also encourages the continuing emulation of his example. It is awarded for remarkable service in the conservation of culture and nature in mountainous regions.
We note that Jeanette Fitzsimons, New Zealand Member of Parliament and co-leader of the Green Party, has proposed commemorating Sir Edmund Hillary Day annually in New Zealand. Fitsimons' goal, to promote participation in sports, is certainly worthwhile. (See her article of January 14, 2008.) However, Sir Edmund's legacy goes beyond recreational sport.
Hillary's philanthropic achievements deserve the wider attention and the emulation that would come with a United Nations resolution that his birthday be dedicated to the theme of sport for development and peace. The Mandate page ("What does sport have to do with the UN?"), explains this theme in terms of the direct benefits of sports:
Sport can contribute to economic and social development, improving health and personal growth in people of all ages --particularly those of young people. Sport-related activities can generate employment and economic activity at many levels. Sport can also help build a culture of peace and tolerance by bringing people together on common ground, crossing national and other boundaries to promote understanding and mutual respect.
Hillary's life, however, illustrates another important connection between sport, development and peace. Outdoor sports can generate an interest in protecting the environment and the communities that make the sport possible. Most of us who work (whether professionally or on a volunteer basis) for the protection of mountain ecosystems and the prosperity of mountain communities were sucked in as a result of a prior interest in mountain sports. Some, like Junko Tabei, were world-class climbers; others, like Tony Freake, were trekkers. Many, like Jack Ives and Alton Byers, chose academic fields that allowed them to combine their love of mountain adventure with research and development that make important contributions to the welfare of mountain communities.
"Sport for Development and Peace" is, of course, a sub-phenomenon of "recreation for development and peace," which naturally includes tourism in general. We believe that there should be much broader practice of partourism (participatory tourism), a variety of ecotourism that places the emphasis not simply on learning but on getting involved and staying involved with a particular destination. The Sherpas of Nepal, of course, are experts at partourism development, and it is to their credit that so many trekkers and climbers have become lifelong friends and collaborators. Wouldn't it be great if we could organize a Sherpa Development Corps, small multidisciplinary cadres including at least one Sherpa entrepreneur, who would pair up with remote communities and assist them in developing their own partourism industry?
May 30, 2008
"Papa Tony" Freake (left) with Hillary Medal Committee chair
Dr. Beau Beza (right)
British national Mr. Anthony John ("Papa Tony") Freake of Norfolk, England (UK), has been awarded the 2008 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal for "remarkable service in conservation of culture and nature in remote mountainous regions." Tony Freake is the founder and director of the non-profit Phortse Community Project (PCP). The medal was presented by Peter Hillary at a ceremony in Tengboche Monastery (Khumbu, Nepal) on May 29, 2008. [ More ]
Do you have suggestions or other feedback? Contact Mountain Legacy Projects Coordinator Seth Sicroff at firstname.lastname@example.org
511 W. Green St., Ithaca NY, 14850 USA; (607) 256-0102.