John Mock & Kimberley O'Neil

Appendix I - Grassroots Organizations

Communities in the Karakoram and Hindukush are realizing that their environment constitutes perhaps their greatest asset, and are taking steps to conserve and manage it. Some of the grassroots organisations that work to preserve the environment and address problems created by tourism are:

  • Karakoram Foundation (tel 252580, 252553 and 853672; fax 250293), P.O. Box 2262, Islamabad exists to work hand-in-hand with those committed to serving people and saving the environment. Their locally focused program works to raise environmental awareness, constructing clean water supply systems, offering scholarships to talented students, operating mobile rural health camps, and training local guides in responsible tourism.

  • Karakoram Society for Natural and Environmental Rehabilitation (KASONER) (tel 3787), P.O. Box 551, Gilgit, Northern Areas is a non-profit organisation that promotes awareness and education to combat environmental problems before they become irreversible. They have an information centre in Al-Kamal House in central Gilgit. KASONER has held anti-pollution marches through the Gilgit bazaar, surveyed the town's water supply, and led protest action at the annual Shandur polo tournament.

  • Khunjerab Student Welfare Federation (KSWF), Karim Ullah Khan, President, P.O. Sost, Village Morkhun, Gojal, Hunza, Gilgit, Northern Areas was formed by student activists in 1990. KSWF promotes education and `green' work because of ecological degradation along the KKH. They have launched a campaign to ban the use of plastic bags and stop the burning of plastic. Litter containers have been placed in areas where villagers gather, particularly at the customs and border check post in Sost. They have branched into ecotourism, training local guides to be ecologically responsible during treks.

  • Khunjerab Village Organization (VO), Qurban Mohammad, General Secretary, P.O. Sost, Village Morkhun, Gojal, Hunza, Gilgit, Northern Areas. This VO formed in response to problems surrounding the Khunjerab National Park, and represents the 306 households of the Abgerch villages (i.e., Morkhun, Jamalabad, Ghalapan, Gircha, Sartex, Nazimabad, and Sost), who have grazing rights in the Khunjerab valleys.

  • Globe Chasers Tourist Club, 21-A Bazaar Area, Gujranwala Cantt, Punjab is a non-profit organisation that promotes conservation of the environment and natural resources. They offer ongoing educational programs and encourage participation in outdoor sporting activities. They can arrange treks for student groups. Their most ambitious ongoing project, which began in 1992, is an annual environmental clean-up of lake Saiful Muluk in the Kaghan Valley. Their local representatives include: Aftab Rana (tel 757 6826-8) c/o TDCP, Lahore; Tayyab Nisar Mir, email , Islamabad; and Ikram Beg (tel 2409) c/o G.M. Beg Sons, Gilgit.

  • Green Earth Organisation (GEO) is a Lahore-based NGO that has launched clean-up campaigns in Nanga Parbat's Rupal Valley. They plan to establish trash dumps and pit toilets at Tarashing, Herligkoffer base camp, Latobah, and Mazeno base camp and organise seasonal systematic trash removal. To combat deforestation, they help villagers plant willow saplings. They also plan to nominate villagers as `Green Guardians' who will ensure trekkers and mountaineers dispose of litter properly.

  • Himalayan Green Club, Attn Kyoko Endo, 3-15-7 Kitaoji Otsu, Shiga, Japan (tel (0775) 34 0911; fax (0775) 34 0984) is active in reforestation programs in Baltistan, particularly along the route up to the Baltoro Glacier. In 1993 they planted willow and poplar trees in Askole, Korophon and Paiju. Educational programs to teach Askole and Korphe villagers how to manage their own reforestation programs are planned.
Forward to Appendix J - Observation of the 1995 K2 Baltoro Glacier Clean-up Expedition:
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