Save Traditional Altai Lands

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Altai Mir University
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement
Together, we access peace by creating a knowledge bridge between ancient wisdom and today's world.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
Adobe CS3 & 4 are fundamental to Altai Mir University’s interface with the world. We turn out fliers, reports, books, and art reproductions, but is the hub through which all information eventually passes. 1) Our all-volunteer staff produces in-house with DreamWeaver plus html coding. 2) We lay out reports and appeals in InDesign, convert them in Acrobat, and link them to website and e-mails (example attached). 3) Our slideshows, produced quickly in Bridge and Photoshop, are worth 1,000 words. 4) We custom-make catchy logos, challenge-grant buttons, and links with Illustrator and Photoshop. We are a new organization, fostering the global sharing of environmentally-crucial indigenous wisdom about human sustainability—-through international leadership exchanges, conferences, publishing, and direct environmental activism. We focus on Altai Republic in Siberia, an environmental pearl and the source of great indigenous wisdom—-site of 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and focus of intense international conservation efforts. Altai itself is threatened with 3 major environmental stresses that demanded our full focus: 1) Climate change (drought) now threatens the indigenous subsistence-farmers and hunters—-stewards of the land from time immemorial. 2) As of January 2010, a new Russian federal land privatization law will almost completely deprive the Altai people of their traditional lands, threatening both their ancient culture and their stewardship. 3) The already-occurring environmental devastation of unchecked tourism plus commercial development spells disaster for Altai—-one of Earth’s few unspoiled sanctuaries. Altai activist Svetlana Katynova, having entirely depleted her own inheritance to save the sacred land, wrote: “The whole world hears about the sanctity of the land of Altai, and the spiritual culture of the people living on this ground. But only a few know about the conditions in which these people live there today. Their temperament is not to shout to the whole world, which is why those of us who understand what irreversible processes are occurring in Altai, ask for help.” What help do they need? Immediate funding—-to pay the exorbitant costs of claiming their own land before it can be sold out from under them! So, in January 2008, Altai Mir University launched an on-line “Save the Altai Lands” fund-raising campaign, with our homepage as “communication central.” With CS3 & 4 we created a compelling presence for donors, with linked slideshows, reports, and updates. In just over a year, we - received over $28,000 from 260+ on-line donors, plus another $12,000 from GlobalGiving challenge-grant programs; - increased our support base from 600 to 1600 people; - saved high-risk communal lands and water access from commercial development, for 5 Altai communities of ~250 people each. With their land reclaimed, recipients are leveraging this opportunity to develop sustainable solutions for the other environmental challenges before them.
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Other Media
Supporting Work Files