Gilgit, May 13, 2015: WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with Hoper Conservation and Development Organization, Hoper Development Organization and Education Department District Hunza-Nagar organized a ‘Mountain Community Seminar on Climate Change’ in Hoper valley, Nagar to spread environmental education through WWF-Pakistan’s Asia High Mountain Project to focus on climate change impacts on livelihood of mountain communities.
The seminar was jointly chaired by Aqil Hussain, Deputy Director Education, District Hunza-Nagar and Professor (Retd.) Nadeem, Mehran University, a leading environmentalist of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB); Saeed Abbas, Conservation Officer, Asia High Mountain Project, WWF-Pakistan and Amir Hamza, Chairman, Hoper Conservation and Development Organization.
Through this seminar, the local communities, students and teachers were sensitized regarding the importance of environmental education, focusing on climate change vulnerabilities, capacity building of local communities to adapt and mitigate climate change, impacts on their livelihood and overall annual income.
According to Saeed Abbas, ‘Pakistan ranks among the top ten countries vulnerable to climate change and it’s northern areas are highly vulnerable to unusual climatic events especially glacial melt, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) and flash floods, thus putting mountain communities at risk. It’s extremely important that government, civil society, NGOs and other stakeholders work together to mitigate and adapt to this changing phenomenon.’
A thematic poster and skit competition was also organized to raise climate change awareness among secondary school students. The theme of poster competition was Impacts of Climate Change on Mountain Communities and theme of the skit was Learn to Live with Change. The audiences appreciated the innovative art work and skits by students from Hunza and Nagar.
USWA Public School Ganish got first position in the skit completion, Faizi Academy SAS valley and SEDNA School Aliabad jointly declared second and Hunza Public school remained third. The art work of all schools was appreciated by the guest and audiences.
WWF-Pakistan’s Asia High Mountain Project team works with academic institutions and local communities to raise awareness and understanding about the climate change, water resources and importance of biodiversity. It provides students an insight into the environmental dynamics of mountainous areas of Pakistan, as well as challenges and solutions for environmental conservation. WWF-Pakistan aims to bring about a change in the mindset of the public by highlighting the importance of nature in their daily lives and creating an environment where humans live in harmony with nature.