Dawa Steven Sherpa, Tshiring Lhamu Lama, and Shailee Basnet- three of Nepal’s prolific individuals shared their tryst with the mountains at the storytelling session held in Rashtriya Sabha Griha today.
At the session organized on the occasion of International Mountain Day, the three renowned speakers touched hundreds of hearts with their mountain stories - from conquering peaks to changing lives to building harmony between people, nature, and wildlife such as the elusive snow leopard.
According to press release issued by WWF Nepal along with Storytellers and KIMFF, the theme chosen for the 2018 celebrations of International Mountain Day (IMD) globally was “#MountainsMatter” with the objective of highlighting how mountains matter for youth, indigenous communities, and mountain tourism in Nepal and thereby raise awareness on different issues faced in mountain landscapes.
Setting the stage for the speakers, Prashanta Manandhar, the founder of Storytellers said,
“Everyone has a story and through our platform, we have always wanted to reach out to the world with those inspiring tales and on Mountain Day, what better way to do it than through stories of the mountain, from people who have lived with the mountains.’
As a part of this year’s Kathmandu International Film Festival, WWF Nepal along with
KIMFF and Storytellers organized the session that saw a stellar participation of around eight hundred attendees including students from schools and colleges, representatives of various organizations, and journalists among others.
Nepal will only be able to graduate to a mid-income country if the mountains are protected because only healthy mountains will ensure continuous inflow of tourism and running hydropower projects, a basis for a developing economy, stated Dr. Ghana S Gurung, Country Representative of WWF Nepal.
Dawa Steven Sherpa
Tourism Entrepreneur and Environmental Activist
At the age of 34 Dawa Steven Sherpa has climbed Mt. Everest twice, as well as four other 8000m peaks and trekked the entire length of the Nepal Himalaya along the Great Himalaya Trail. Meanwhile, over 210 climbers from 20 different nations have summited Mt. Everest under his leadership. Holding environmental issues close to his heart Dawa is a pioneer in the field of high altitude tourism entrepreneurship, as he works to make expeditions to the Himalayas cleaner. His greatest achievement in this effort is the cleaning of over 18,500 Kgs of garbage from the slopes of Mt. Everest since 2008.
Dawa's innovative work in conservation, tourism and other areas has been recognized and awarded by the Government of Nepal, WWF, and the International Olympic Committee, amongst others.
Tshiring Lhamu Lama
Research and Field Program Associate, WWF Nepal
For Tshiring, WWF Nepal’s young female researcher, the connection between the mountains, snow leopards and the Panda is almost innate. Born and raised in the quaint village of Tso, an arm’s length from the majestic Phoksundo Lake in Dolpa, Tshiring came to know of WWF very early on in her life. Back in 1996, it was the only organization, whose staff regularly traversed the mountains bringing solar power and improved cooking stoves to her village.
Now, at the just age of 30, she works with local communities in monitoring snow leopards and building greater understanding to protect the elusive cat. Her conservation journey to protect the very region she hails is truly inspirational.
Leader of Seven Summits Women Team and Stand Up Comic
Shailee Basnet, is the leader of the ‘Seven Summits Women Team’ world’s first female group to scale the highest peak in each continent. With her team, she is now leading programs to train young female survivors of trafficking become trekking guides. Following the 2015 earthquake the team is also working towards rebuilding schools in Sindhupalchok district. Besides, Shailee enjoys hitting the stage as stand-up comic and performs regularly in Nepal and the US.