Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..
Islamabad: The International Snow Leopard Day was organized here today by Snow Leopard Foundation in collaboration with Ministry of Climate Change, embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic and UNDP-Pakistan. The Advisor to the Prime minister on climate Change Mr. Malik Amin Aslam was chief guest at the occasion.
As part of Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) awareness and educational initiatives, SLF actively celebrate and participate in international days relevant to environment, wildlife, biodiversity and eco-tourism. SLF celebrated the International Snow Leopard Day at national and regional level in its program offices in Giglit Baltistan, Chitral KPK and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. All the events were based on this year’s theme “Building of perception for survival of snow leopards and ecosystem”. Perception plays most important role in minimizing the human-animal conflicts.
In his welcome address the Inspector General Forests Ministry of Climate Change Syed Mahmood Nasir informed the guests about the importance of celebrating International Snow Leopard Day and the awareness created by these events. He also briefly shared the details of the GEF funded project Pakistan Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (PSLEP), which has been launched recently and Snow Leopard Foundation is responsible of implementing the project components and achieving the desired objectives.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Guest Mr. Malik Amin Aslam appreciated the conservation efforts and contribution of Snow Leopard Foundation in protecting the snow leopard and its ecosystem in Pakistan. Mr. Malik also informed the guests about policies and step taken by the Government and Ministry of Climate Change in improving and enhancing the sustainability of biodiversity and wildlife, snow leopard has a significance in the ecosystem and therefore needs initiatives to secure its population, he further said.
Deputy Director SLF Mr. Jaffar Uddin presented lifetime membership of Snow Leopard Club to Mr. Malik Amin Aslam Khan.
The Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Mr. Erik Beishembiev in his remarks highlighted the tourism and wildlife in the Kyrgyz Republic. He informed the guests about snow leopard conservation and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) which was initiated in Bishkek and evolved into a global effort involving all the 12 snow leopard range countries. A documentary on Kyrgyz tourism and wildlife was also screened at the occasion.
The Country Director UNDP-Pakistan Mr. Ignacio Artaza emphasized on the need to change the mindset and behavior of the people to ensure the protection of wildlife and biodiversity. In this remarks, Mr. Ignacio Artaza suggested for necessary legislation and policy formulation to the Government of Pakistan to control the biodiversity damage including poaching and other such activities. He said, UNDP will play active role in supporting the efforts by the Government of Pakistan.
The guests were enthralled by the short play performed by Quadian Dramatic Club on the theme of this year’s Snow Leopard Day. A poster competition was also organized in a local girl’s college and the winners were awarded certificates by the Chief Guest. But the main segment of this event was launching of SLF informative documentary on camera trapping techniques and its advantage in snow leopard conservation and data collection. The documentary is produced by SLF titled ‘Trapping the Phantom”
To conclude the event, Mr. Z. B. Mirza thanked all the guests and participants, specially the students as SLF gives importance to youth in the snow leopard conservation. He also thanked the organizers for their support to make the event successful.
October 23, 2018