Islamabad : (Parliament Times) As many as 12 events will be organised during the two-week long 9th edition of Pakistan Mountain Festival beginning with the launching of the mountain ambassadors on November 30, said the Executive Director Devcom-Pakistan Munir Ahmed while talking to this scribe on Saturday.
Well-known environmentalist Munir Ahmed is the founder and director of Pakistan Mountain Festival, the globally recognised largest advocacy and outreach event for the mainstreaming of the mountains and its communities.
He said the concept of the mountain ambassadors is a new initiative to consistently run the awareness and advocacy campaign throughout the year by engaging different segments of society up and down stream jointly. Some of the well-known figures and university students will be part of the initiative.
The other very significant component of the Pakistan Mountain Festival this year is the launching of the Mountains’ Pride Award that would honour some individuals who have their life-long contribution in the development of mountain communities and conservation of the mountain resources.
Talking about the other attractions of the festival, Munir Ahmed said cultural performances, Margalla Hills Trail-5 clean-up, students live painting competition on the themes of mountains’ landscape, women, water and biodiversity, senior artists group show, and recitation of poetry and folklore stories from mountains are the other events would engage different folks.
The festival will have grand event on December 11 – the International Mountains day. A multi-disciplinary conference and expo would be organised at the Comsats University Islamabad campus in collaboration with the university. About 200 delegates from different universities and youth groups would take part in the learning experience. The knowledge sharing kiosks, mountain products and food court would certainly attract large crowd.
Munir Ahmed said “our mountains are the frontlines of the climate change impact. The changing climate challenge is to reduce the pace of degradation happening on the mountains and affecting the glaciers, biological diversity, ecosystems, life and livelihood of communities. The loss is hampering the GDP of the resources for the people living downstream. That is why we need to bridge the knowledge gap between the up and downstream communities and stakeholders and create different mechanisms to educate and inform each other.”
Devcom-Pakistan founded this unique concept of the thematic advocacy and outreach event to raise awareness and mainstream the challenges being faced by the mountains of Pakistan and the impact of climate change on the communities and in the terrain; to promote and mainstream the mountain products, eco-tourism and culture; to provide the mountain communities market linkages for the promotion of their goods and services; to give a push to the review process of the national and regional policies and programs concerning the mountain issues , and to mainstreaming the best practices in the realm of biodiversity conservation, environment and climate change, and highlighting the importance and marketing of the mountain ecosystem services.