11th Pakistan Mountain Festival from December 1

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Islamabad, NOV 7 /DNA/ – Devcom Pakistan’s annual flagship event Pakistan Mountain Festival will begin on December 11 with a live painting competition among the undergraduate and postgraduate students of art and design. More than 50 students will take part in the opening event of the 11th edition of the festival that is aimed at celebrating the United Nations International Mountain Day (IMD). Exhibition of the paintings will be organized on December 7 in collaboration at the Rawalpindi Art Gallery of the Punjab Arts Council.

The Margalla Hills Trail-3 cleanup will be organized on Sunday December 5 coupled with a briefing on the Margalla Hills National Park by the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB). Third Pakistan Mountain Youth Parliament and launch of the second batch of Pakistan Mountain Ambassadors is scheduled for December 9.

A grand daylong event will be organized on Saturday December 11 on the International Mountain Day. It will include a conference Pakistan Mountains by 2030 including panel discussions on mountaineering and tourism in the changing climate, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) and Disaster Risk Management (DRR), invasion on culture and heritage, and youth and women development. A mountain culture show, exhibition of paintings, showcase stalls of organizations, arts and crafts will also enrich the daylong events.

Pakistan Mountains Pride Awards were launched in 2019 after the names of five living legends including Agostino Da Polenza Mountain Conservation Award, Shoaib Sultan Khan Mountain Community Development Award, Nazir Sabir Mountaineering Award, Ashraf Aman Sustainable Mountain Tourism Award, and Ustad Jan Ali Mountain Music Award. The eleventh edition of the Pakistan Mountain Festival will be concluded with the second edition of awards.

Speaking to this scribe, Executive Director Devcom-Pakistan and founder and director of Pakistan Mountain Festival Munir Ahmed said:  International Mountain Day (December 11) is dedicated to raising awareness about opportunities and challenges facing mountain regions, as well as building alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and places around the world. Devcom-Pakistan has been organizing different events to mark IMD engaging mountain communities and stakeholders in the mountain regions and downstream with the collaboration of different partners from government, national and international nongovernment and UN organizations, and academia since 2005. It was branded as Pakistan Mountain Festival in 2009.  

Munir Ahme said: Pakistan’s mountains are the most vulnerable to deforestation and ecosystem degradation that have accelerated the pace of glaciers melting. Pakistan is ranked fifth on the World Vulnerability Index just because of the degradation of mountains. We need to address the challenges confronting our mountains that play a significant role in providing water and food supply to millions of people. Mountains cover around 22 percent of the surface of the earth and 13 percent of the world’s population live in the mountains. Ninety percent of the world’s mountain inhabitants live in developing countries, where a huge population lives under the poverty line, and one out of every three individuals experiences the danger of food insecurity. Mountains offer 60-80 percent of the world’s freshwater. According to the UNO, almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half of the human population depends on mountains for water and nutrition. Mountains are facing risk from climate change and natural calamities. Mountains face climate change as the global temperature continues to warm which disturbs starving and poorest people of the world who live in the mountains. Due to the increasing temperature, glaciers on the mountains start melting which brings floods in the world. Currently, 329 million people living in the mountains face food scarcity.=DNA