Shigar: (PR) Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization (BWCDO) celebrated Snow Leopard Day in Basha Valley Shigar in collaboration with local schools, education department, wildlife department, Iqra Fund, CKNP and local community.
More than 700 students and community members participated in the event.
The objective of the event was to raise awareness, build confidence of students and involve the community in the conservation of the elusive snow leopard. Ten school students from Basha Valley Shigar participated in the speech competition, and produced poems and drawings focusing on the snow leopard. The competitions were held with an aim to enhance the awareness and importance of snow leopard among the community members. .
The Director of Education Department Baltistan Majeed Khan speaking a the occasion said that it is the responsibility of the community to protect the natural resources which can boost the economy of the area. He stated that these resources can be utilized for various purposes i.e. education, development and health of the community and that the community should strengthen its cooperation with the organizations who are working for natural resource development. He advised the participants to keep their environment clean as there are no resources need for it. He said that he appreciated the efforts of BWCDO and other organizations and stated that all stakeholders should collaborate and try to utilize the resources in efficient ways to provide more benefits to the community. He stated that the Education Department would support the education in the area by providing resources to the area.
General Manager, BWCDO, Ghulam Muhammad, delivered the welcome speech to the audience; he said that BWCDO goal is to protect the snow leopard population through community involvement and that its approach is different because it is trying to alleviate hardships caused by snow leopard and provide economic and social benefits to the communities.
He said that God has gifted various natural resources such as forest, wildlife, minerals, glaciers, water resources etc to its people so we should look after them. He reiterated that snow leopard is one of the rare species which is found in the region and due due to various reasons the population of snow leopard is under threat but stable. He stated that BWCDO has worked for the last eighteen years to stabilize the population of the snow leopard..
Ghulam Mhammad explained the work of BWCDO by stating that it is providing livestock compensation to the farmers in seventeen villages across Baltistan region who suffers from snow leopard predations. . He further said that BWCDO is working in different sectors i.e. constructing predator proof corrals, awareness raising; scientific research and various other projects to manage the snow leopard population in a sustainable way. . He said that the key element of development is education; without education no one can bring development. Ghulam Mohammad mentioned that BWCDO organizes such events every year and provide opportunities to the students of the area to explore their competencies and skills; they are our future . He thanked to the community about their wonderful support.
Speaking to the audience Yasir Abbas Ecologists from CKNP informed them about the importance of wildlife and the parks. He appreciated the BWCDO’s efforts for the conservation and development in the region. He emphasized that due to global warming the environment is drastically changing with long term effects on wildlife and human. He mentioned that CKNP is closely working with BWCDO to protect snow leopard in the CKNP area.
The community representative Hassan Karimi said that BWCDO is the organization whose support to the community is unmatched. He stated that due to BWCDO efforts the community is getting awareness about wildlife.
At the end the chief guest distributed the prizes to the students who got first, second and third positions.