December 11 is International Mountain Day: a day to celebrate the incredible power of mountains. For millennia, mountains have been revered for their base majesty and ecological, spiritual, and cultural significance. Mountain glaciers in the Himalayan and trans-himalayan ranges feed some of the Indian Subcontinent’s primary rivers, including the Sutlej, the Indus, the Karnali, and the Brahmaputra, providing water for at least one third of the global human population. The glaciers of Mount Kailash feed the waters of the Sutlej River, a tributary of the Indus River. Mount Kailash, in Tibet, is one of the most sacred mountains in the world. A sacred site for Hindus, Buddhists, Bons, and Jains, among others. Right now, increased tourism and a surge in construction projects are threatening the pristine landscape of Mount Kailash. Because Mount Kailash isn’t recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, despite its deep significance and elaborate network of shrines and Buddhist monasteries, there is no way of ensuring that the landscape surrounding the mountain remains protected and undeveloped. This is the case for mountain landscapes across Tibet and around the world. International Mountain Day is a day to celebrate the power of mountains, to bring people together, to inspire awe, and to remind us that conserving mountain landscapes is a necessity for both human and nonhuman populations around the world.

Director – Augusta Thomson
Editor – Chelsi Bullard
Graphic Designers – Monica Rivera and Pauline Yu

The two music selections in this video are called “Homage” (Gyatso) and “Awakened Heart” (Semchok) by musician Tenzin Choegyal. To check out more of his work use this link:

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