Gilgit, February 2: (PR) WWF-Pakistan’s Saving Wetlands High Programme and Pakistan Wetlands Programme organized a mass awareness event at Gahkuch on the eve of world wetlands day 2012, to raise awareness about the significance of High Altitude Wetlands (HAWs) in rural communities. The purpose of this event was to familiarize local communities and other stakeholders about the socio-economic, ecological and hydrological services of the HAWs and sensitize them to play a vital role in managing these resources.
Proceedings of the day included a wetlands nature walk that started at 9:00 am from Karim guest house and culminated at Gahkuch Marshland, just outside Gahkuch town, an excellent habitat for coot species. Here the participants were briefed about the importance of the marshland. After the walk the participant headed back to Karim Guest house to participate in speech and art competition.
Mr. Inayat Ullah initiated indoor activities with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. Mr. Naseer Ahmad, WWF Pakistan, Gilgit Office, briefed the participants about the WWF- Pakistan and its Saving Wetlands Sky High Programme and Pakistan Wetlands Programme- Northern Alpine Wetlands Complex interventions in Gilgit-Baltistan and gave an orientation to the day celebrations. More then 400 participants including students, teachers, communities’ reps., line departments and non Government Organizations (NGOs) attended the day event.
The speech and drawing competition was organized for school students of both Qurumbar and Gahkuch town. Two students each from ten schools (8-10th) had been selected to participate in the speech and art competitions held on Role of high altitude wetlands for promotion of tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). A panel of jury decided on best speakers and artists for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for winner awards. Mr. Inayat Khan declared for 1st position in speech competition, Ms. Shahista Jabeen and Mr.Kashif Hussain deceded for 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. In drawing competition Ms. Husson Bano got the 1st prize, Ms. Nasarat Bagum and Ghulam Mohammad selected for 2nd and 3rd position winners of the drawing completion.
Winners and participants of the event have given certificates of appreciation /participation and Prizes to memorizing the occasion by Conservator Wildlife Parks and Environment department Gilgit-Baltistan. He was the chief guest on the occasion. In his speech he asserted that wetlands play an important role in providing livelihood opportunities to the communities and staging ground for hundreds of guest birds and other wildlife in the surrounding catchments.