International Conference on Women
On March 8-9, 2011, UVU presented its second major conference on Women of the Mountains with presenters from all parts of the world and many ambassadors from Mountain Partnership countries. The Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, which is headquartered in Rome, Italy, attended the conference to help mobilize the Rocky Mountain community as a group and to initiate plans for Rio+20 in 2012. AIMF President, Karinjo DeVore, and Secretary, Rebecca Wallace, attended the conference and organized one of the plenary sessions entitled "Women, the Rocky Mountains, and the Environment."
The United Nations declared 2002 as the "International Year of Mountains" to increase awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems and the challenges faced by mountain people. A formal alliance of partners, the Mountain Partnership was launched that year at the Bishek Global Mountain Summit in Kyrgystan. Aspen's friend, Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev was at that time the Kyrg Ambassador to Washington, D.C. and very involved in the Year of the Mountains. He is now a visiting professor at the Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, Utah and has been working tirelessly to promote the Partnership in the Rocky Mountains.