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Princess Zahra Aga Khan speech at the 2011 Ashden Awards (London, United Kingdom)

16 June 2011


Please also see: Press Release, AKDN video and Photographs

(following a film on AKPBS's BACIP programme)

Those were the rugged valleys of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan area. It is a lot further than Devon but we would love to have you come visit us anyway. It is an area of high seismic activity and frequent natural disasters. Here, the consumption of natural resources has been causing land degradation and soil destabilization which, in turn, has led to increased risk and diminished economic prospects for the local communities. Deforestation is an area of great concern.

To meet the household needs in a healthy, safe and sustainable manner and to narrow the household energy gap, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services established BACIP. It has been developing methods, products and technologies that can improve housing standards. It uses materials and skills and provides income generation activities even in the most remote and extreme areas.

BACIP was inspired by His Highness the Aga Khan’s conviction that, as part of a continuum of development efforts ranging from education to infrastructure, “a proper home can provide the bridge across that terrible gulf between poverty and a better future”. We hope that this initiative will help lift thousands of families out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

We share your vision of better lives, improved habitats and a green environment. I would like to thank the Ashden Award for this incredible honour and also the staff and volunteers of AKPBS Pakistan.

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