Coinciding with the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the release of the series, beginning on The Ismaili TV on Wednesday 10 November, comes at an ideal time to learn more about the plight of populations on the front line in the fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
Everything that Allah has created has value — whether plants, animals, or human beings. Muslims believe that fulfilling the trust He has placed in us means caring for the planet, and being careful with how we treat the earth, its resources, and the rich diversity of living beings we find around us.
The Pamir mountains, the Himalayas, and the Karakorum, collectively known as the “Roof of the World,” is home to 240 million people, countless rare and endangered species, and the largest depository of ice outside the polar caps.
Young filmmakers from Pakistan, India, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan travelled to the mountainous region to explore the implications of climate change, deforestation, pollution, and extreme weather events on communities in South and Central Asia.
“…These filmmakers have captured poignant personal stories of people and cultures threatened by both deluges and desiccation of their environment,” said Andrew Tkach, Executive Producer of the series.
The temperature is rising here three times faster than the global average, causing a rapid melting of glaciers, in turn resulting in floods and mudslides, and putting people's lives at risk. It is also negatively affecting the habitats of wildlife such as spotted snow leopards, Himalayan brown bears, and majestic markhors.
Yet, there is still hope to turn the situation around. World leaders have been gathering this week at the UN climate conference to make firm commitments to avoid more catastrophe.
“It is time to show that even in a world beset by intractable conflicts, it is possible to work across borders and social strata to save our common home.” continued Mr Tkach. “People living in some of the world’s most extreme conditions are fighting this battle every day, it is time we listen and learn from them.”
The series is a joint initiative of the Aga Khan University, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Aga Khan Foundation, and the University of Central Asia, and is being launched on TV and online. The collaboration serves as an example of institutions working together to address one of the most urgent challenges of our time.
Without global action to stop climate change, thousands of glaciers will disappear in the coming decades, affecting everyday lives on the Roof of the World and beyond. Now is the time to listen to their voices.
The first episode of Voices from the Roof of the World will air on The Ismaili TV at the following times:
Wednesday 10 November at 6AM, 1:30PM, 5PM, 8:30PM 11:30PM (Toronto) / 11AM, 6:30PM, 10PM (London) / 4PM, 11:30PM (Dushanbe)
Thursday 11 November at 6:30AM, 9:30AM (Dushanbe)