Gilgit : (PR) World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan (WWF-P) and The Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) marked an awareness event at the end of the “Wildlife Week” under the theme of World Wildlife Day 2018 “Big Cats: Predators under threat” in collaboration with the Parks and Wildlife Department, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khudaabad Conservation and Development Organization. The event was organized at the Diamond Jubilee Community High School, Khudaabad, District Hunza and attended by students, teachers, community elders, local mountain herders and officials from relevant government and non-governmental departments and organizations.
Mr. Muhammad Wali Khan, Conservation Officer, Snow Leopard Foundation presented the keynote speech and highlighted the status of snow leopard, threats, conservation needs and measures being taken by WWF-P and SLF in collaboration with Gilgit-Baltistan Parks and Wildlife Department for the conservation and management of this iconic species of the Asia’s High Mountain.
Mr. Muhammad Ameen, President Khudabad Conservation and Development Organization speaking on behalf of the communities emphasized on importance snow leopard specifically and wildlife generally and urged to make necessary actions for the conservation of snow leopard, its prey-base and habitat.
Mr. Saeed Abbas, Regional Head WWF-Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan while chairing the program appreciated the the school administration, teachers, students and community members for arranging such a nice event and highlighting the importance of conservation with special focus on snow leopard rite in the heart of Snow leopard habitat. He further added that Gilgit-Baltistan is home to a number of species of flora and fauna and unique natural habitats which haven’t alternatives elsewhere in the world so it is our prime duty to conserve these boons of nature and this day calls for sustainable management of our precious natural resources and securing a future where humans live in harmony with nature. He also emphasized on fostering the wildlife conservation agenda for the sustainable development of the deprived mountain communities and coping up with the emerging environmental challenges such as the climate change.
The photo frames were presented to the last year’s Snow Leopard Day art work competition winners as memorials which were declared first and second by the panel of jury in the presence of his Excellency Ambassador of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Norway. A radio-talk on the importance of the predators in context of GB wildlife resources and their conservation needs was another important activity broadcast from Radio Pakistan, GB. Besides, banners having messages on the importance of big cat conservation, especially snow leopards were displayed at various locations of Gilgit city.
Mr. Muhammad Younus, SLF thanked the participants for being in the event and the event was ended with an awareness walk by participants to the local market area holding banners and playcards related to the importance of predators for the ecosystem.