Mingma with a seedling, photo by Anne Keiser
Mingma with Sir Ed Hillary, taken at the British Embassy during the 50th Anniversary, photo by Anne Keiser
Mingma and Ana Dablam, photo by Anne Keiser
Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund
Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund
17 September 2007
Dear friends of Mingma and Nepal conservation
The Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund: a New Zealand living memorial
On 23 September 2006, some of Nepals most accomplished conservationists lost their lives in a tragic helicopter accident in Nepal. They had just participated in a ceremony handing over the management of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area to local communities a major milestone achieved after years of work led by WWF amongst others.
The Eastern Himalayas is home to many unique cultures, habitats and rare wildlife species. To these conservation leaders this area was not only one of natures miracles, but an inseparable part of their beings. One who lost his life was Mingma Norbu Sherpa, WWFs Managing Director of the Eastern Himalayas programme. Many of WWFs accomplishments in the region are the direct result of the vision and leadership of Mingma.
The deep connection between New Zealand and Nepal, especially in the Sagarmatha region, stemming from New Zealands and Sir Ed Hillarys relationship with the Sherpa people, has moved the Nepal /New Zealand conservation community. Mingma was educated at the first of Sir Eds schools and later he came to New Zealand where he undertook the Parks and Recreation Diploma at Lincoln College. Mingma was well known in New Zealand conservation and mountain circles and enjoyed a special friendship with Sir Ed.
Mingmas special place in the heart of New Zealand conservation has meant that many New Zealanders have expressed their sorrow at the collective losses, for Mingma, the other WWF staff and WWF partners. As the New Zealand community became aware of the losses there was a desire to establish a living memorial to Mingma.
For all of these reasons a Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund is to be established to provide for post graduate scholarships for Nepal conservation management students. The fund will support young conservation leaders from the Himalayan region, especially rural mountain areas, to attend Lincoln University in New Zealand.
We aim to raise NZ$450,000 as an endowment fund, which will yield sufficient funds to support a student annually in perpetuity. The fund will be held by WWF-New Zealand as the Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund, and administered by a small steering group including Dave Bamford, Bruce Jefferies and David Simmons, Lisa Choegyal (Nepal), Chris Howe, and chaired by Jo Breese, former Chief Executive of WWF-New Zealand and a close friend of Mingma. Lincoln University has already generously committed to a post-graduate fees scholarship for up to ten years from 2008 and the Himalayan Trust are making available two airfares in the first year.
"As we approach the anniversary of the accident, we are determined to make the Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund a reality, and are seeking your generous support to establish the fund so that the first scholarship can be awarded this year. This support will help ensure that Mingmas inspirational leadership of conservation management in Nepal continues. It will also celebrate Mingmas life, his work and the special bond he helped create between his beloved Nepal and New Zealand."
How to make your donation:
- By credit card through this fundraising page. You will receive an instant emailed receipt;
- By calling WWF-New Zealand on 0800 4357 993 within New Zealand or +64 4 499 2930 from other countries with your credit card details;
- Or by sending a cheque to Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund c/o WWF-New Zealand, PO Box 6237, Wellington.
Please make donations over $1,000 by calling WWF-New Zealand on the telephone or sending a cheque.
Please give generously in your support of the Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Fund.
Jo Breese, immediate past Chief Executive of WWF-New Zealand
Chris Howe, Executive Director of WWF-New Zealand
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