Science and Practice of Ecology and Society Award for Shimshal


Inayat Ali

Shimshal Nature Trust has been awarded The Science and Practice of Ecology and Society Award by the Resilience Alliance, a trans disciplinary group of scholars. The award provides grant money to the Shimshal Nature Trust, and offers publication of the academic paper written by Mehjabeen Abidi, and Anna Larance, both at Oxford University, in the journal ‘Ecology and Society’.The “resilience” theory is a key emerging concept, which essentially means dynamic local systems that are able to blend and use externally available knowledge to renew themselves rather being obliterated by forces of change around them. This is different from the term ‘indigenous’ knowledge which refers to a body of frozen or
 disconnected knowledge.

Congratulating the community Mr. Izhar Ali Hunzai said, “we are extremely pleased and proud that the spin off effects of AKDN are resulting in resilient local institutions, such as Shimshal Nature Trust, (HH called communities in NAC resilient back in 1983 in the documentary Valleys in Transition), that are the focus of global research and a source of new knowledge”.


Inayat Ali is Field Manager, Community Conservation, working in Wakhan. He belongs to Shimshal. A detailed paper in this connection would be published in Pamir Times.

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  1. Hello All
    i am very happy to know that shimshal village has been awardedThe Science and Practice of Ecology and Society award i wana congrate each and every one in that population and the young professionals from that area who put thier contribution for sach achivement,s being an educational planner i apperciade the efforts of every educated person who work for such type of research which will help the comming genration to promote thier area.

    Didar Karim Bari
    NUML university islamabad

  2. This is really an exception when you see such a remote area on this frontage. I congratulate all the truly dedicated professionals of this valley who have set examples for all mountain people of the world.

    I must say Shimshal is fortunate to reap the fruits of its entire educated segment even when it has road connection to the external world in the very recent past. I understand, two brothers from the same valley had access to Oxford University in the last 3-4 years. Can anyone expect more than that?

    I hope your true example will be followed by all sensible people in the Northern Areas.

    With lots of prayers and best wishes,

  3. Congratulations to the institutions, leaders, elders and people of Shimshal and the activists of SNT/Conservation Committee and the youth and students for keeping their tradition alive.

    Not withstanding the socio-economic context and physical inaccessibility, the Shimshalis were infact jealously guarding their ‘identity’ and their unique relationship with nature for centuries, while at the same time reaching out to other institutions in a positive encounter to plea their case and project their model of ‘resilience’ both during the Hunza State period and under the current government administered by Pakistan.

    We hope this award will create awareness and better understanding of the shimshali model and the government and natural resource managers will rethink the traditional top down natural resource management approaches and actually facilitate communities to take ownership of their natural resources.

    With this award, we feel fulfiling the cause of community stewardship of nature. Hope other communities will follow the example of the Shimshali ‘rebel’ to re-establish their links with mother nature.

    The recent ‘rebel’ by Aga Yahya against criminal destruction of nature through mobilizing the communities by forming Rakaposhi Community Conservation Trust is another example of replicating this model.

    The activism by KVO, Khyber and Ghulkin communities are by no means less. Infact they have created a lot of goodwill across the board, especially the initial ‘defiance’ by the KVO in the 90s and early 2000 became a role model for other to follow.

    Ghulam Amin Beg

  4. Congratulations to the entire community of Shimshal valley and particularly to those of you who volunteer their time and energies to accomplish such tasks. You have undoubtedly set an out standing precedence of all those who want to work for their communities in different areas of community development.

    Wish you all the best

    Iqbal Barcha

  5. The community of shimshal has remained model in every sector of life. They are the best example for how to make living out of a very harsh geographical condition and become model in educationa nd rural development.

    This is the real result of the hard work of the elders of the village.

  6. Dear Inayat, congratulation to you and all our Shimshali community, you have remained exemplary in many aspects of life because of your hard work, honesty and committed attitudes. It is wonderful to bring the local knowledge into practices. We must learn from you all.

  7. Dear Readers!
    I read some of the comments on this site and realized the importance of keeping in touch online. In today’s Global world, online communication is the most reliable and sharpest way of keeping updated. Especially, for the Wakhi younsters working worlwide, we should utilize this important media to learn about each other’s achievements, distinctive works and local needs of our young generation. This would provide us all a unique support mechanism by sharing information about jobs, businesses and other socio-cultural programs.
    I assure the readers sharing any important events or happenings in Gilgit town or from the Northern Areas. Hey!! Wakhis of the whole Central Asian region, I love you all and pray for your good health, prosperity and individual development.
    Ahmed Jami Sakhi
    Gilgit Pakistan

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