For much of the past decade, we’ve chosen environmental themes for the Moving Mountains Symposium, issues that we’ve felt were essential to the global conversation. This year, we’re changing directions and will focus on Afghanistan as the theme for the 2015 symposium. We haven't selected a theme directly tied to a country since 2006 (Mongolia), so we’re ready to revisit Afghanistan, where the situation has changed considerably since we last spotlighted it during the symposium of 1997 (and since "Mountains of Islam" was our symposium subject in 2002).
I had a chance to see what was happening there myself when I traveled to Kabul in December of 2013. I made the trip with my eldest daughter to film the third act of The Diplomat, a documentary I’m making about my father, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was President Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like my father, I was taken by the country's unique cultural flavor and, even more, by its stark mountain landscape.