FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— North Conway, New Hampshire and Maputo, Mozambique Friday, July 3
On July 11th the 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium will bring together an international group of university students, scientists, conservation leaders and professional adventurers in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. Presented by Positive Tracks, the twelve-day symposium brings together 35 young people to launch a conversation on “disruptive” conservation–a new model for building community-driven conservation in some of the world’s most remote and biologically diverse places in the world.
“The 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium is about bringing future leaders into the discussion about now,” Lost Mountain Director, Majka Burhardt explains. “In doing so, we are taking a multidisciplinary approach to one of the most fundamental challenges facing our world today: can there be powerful collaboration between communities and ecosystems that allow them to both thrive?”
The Lost Mountain commenced in May 2014 when Burhardt, a professional climber and social entrepreneur, along with fellow professional climber Kate Rutherford, led a team of biologists, conservation workers, and filmmakers in an exploration of Mozambique’s Mount Namuli. The expedition spent a month conducting scientific and conservation fieldwork, using rock climbing to access previously unexplored habitats.
Beyond establishing the first technical rock climbing route on Mt. Namuli, the team discovered one new snake species, 40 ant genera and 27 herpetological specimens, dozens of which have yet to be identified.
The mission of the Lost Mountain is to catalyze a collaborative future for Mount Namuli where people and ecosystems can thrive together. A key tenet of the work includes open-sourcing solutions to these complex issues through opportunities like the Next Gen Symposium.
“Positive Tracks is the perfect presenting partner for the 2015 Next Gen Symposium,” Majka explains. “Their vision to empower and engage young people to make an impact in their own communities and around the world resonates with the center of what we are doing at the Lost Mountain.”
The Positive Tracks’ $20,000 Lost Mountain Symposium Challenge Grant, along with money from outdoor industry partners Osprey Packs and Goal Zero and private donors, will double every dollar Next Gen Symposium participants fundraise until The Lost Mountain has $90,000 for innovative integrated conservation.
During the 12-day Symposium, 35 African and American students – 10 of whom are Positive Tracks Ambassadors – will be introduced to conservation planning and management principles, leadership development models, Leave No Trace techniques, and examinations of contemporary challenges facing conservation and development.
“By bringing key conventional and unconventional players into the mix, we were able to create nimble, effective, and innovative solutions for conservation and development,” Burhardt says. “There is nothing more powerful than fresh, diverse thinkers. We are going to ask these young people to set their mind to some big questions and can’t wait to see what comes of it.”
Grant Bemis, a 23-year-old Positive Tracks Ambassador from Minnesota, is going back to Mozambique for a second time with the organization’s support. “There are so many projects worldwide to participate in and I’m grateful Positive Tracks has enabled me to participate twice,” Grant reflects. “I would encourage anyone interested in making a difference to follow their dreams.”
“At this point in the process, it’s imperative to bring future leaders into the discussion around conservation and allow them to be part of the action,” says Burhardt. “And what’s even more important? That we do it right now.”
Interviews, Imagery, and More Information:
Leigh Boyle, Community Leader, Lost Mountain
+1-604-910-4903 | firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE LOST MOUNTAIN
The Lost Mountain Initiative is an international venture to foster a future where people and ecosystems thrive together on Mount Namuli, Mozambique. The Initiative began with a 2014 field expedition combining rock-climbing, cliffside scientific research, integrated conservation planning, and media. Mount Namuli, a 7,936-foot granite monolith, is the largest of a group of isolated peaks that tower over the ancient valleys of northern Mozambique. It is one of the world’s least explored and most threatened habitats. Here, plants and animals have evolved as if on dispersed oceanic islands, so that individual mountains have become refuge to their own unique species of life, many of which have yet to be discovered or described by science. Biologists and conservationists from around the world have identified Mount Namuli as a global hotspot: a place of critical biodiversity and an opportunity to model a new vision for wildlife preservation that integrates the wishes and needs of local people.
The Lost Mountain Consortium is directed by US-based Additive Adventure and Mozambique-based LUPA. The Lost Mountain is supported in part from a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund—a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. The Lost Mountain Next Gen Initiative is proud to have Positive Tracks as a presenting partner. The 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium is also made possible with the generosity of Ethiopian Airlines, Osprey Packs and Goal Zero. With additional support for the Lost Mountain Film from Clif Bar, Patagonia, Kickstarter, Petzl, Scarpa, Julbo and 1% for the Planet.
ABOUT POSITIVE TRACKS
Positive Tracks is a national, youth-centric nonprofit that helps Generation Next get active and give back using the power of sport and adventure. The Positive Tracks program plugs into charitable athletic events to double dollars and amplify awareness generated by ages 23 and under.
Best news is: Every dollar raised by youth and matched by Positive Tracks goes to charity partners to benefit the global populations and places they serve. The end result sees youth of all demographics mobilized to move and empowered to give back: starting with themselves, starting in their own backyards.
@majkaburhardt | #LostMountain