Pakistan: Environment Day Highlights Snow Leopards

Events in schools raise awareness for the endangered cats and its plight among local communities in the mountain provinces of Pakistan.

The Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) Pakistan never misses an opportunity where the local stakeholders can be involved in awareness and educational activities. International days like World Environment Day provide us the  opportunity to plan and arrange events with participation of the local community, particularly youth and students.

Students at SLF’s event in Gilgit. Photo: Moiz Rafi, SLF

The Snow Leopard Foundation has established Nature Clubs in schools around the Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral regions for creating awareness and building capacity in environmental education. This year’s World Environment Day was celebrated by nature clubs in two schools of Gilgit and Chitral. The events were supported by various government and private organizations in both Gilgit and Chitral. Students and teachers from other nearby schools also attended the event.

In Chitral, students were asked to draw and paint snow leopards and other wildlife. Photo: Moiz Rafi, SLF

The SLF Chitral office conducted a drawing and painting competition on the topic of “Snow Leopard Habitat” based on this year’s Environment Day theme “Connecting People to Nature”.

The competition was organized to create awareness among children about relationship of human, wildlife and nature. Altogether, more than seventy students participated in different competitions and activities during the event. At the prize distribution ceremony, the chief guest Mr Abdul Samad Wazir (DFO Wildlife Chitral Gol National Park) appreciated students’ enthusiasm and emphasized on organizing similar events on regular basis for capacity building and creating interest towards wildlife and conservation.

The prize-winning artwork was displayed at the event. Photo: Moiz Rafi, SLF

Similarly, the SLF Gilgit office arranged a quiz and drawing competition to celebrate the ‘World Environment Day’ with Nature Clubs of Qurumbar Valley. An event was arranged in FG High School Immit. Students and teachers from nature clubs of four other government and private schools in the valley were also invited. More than 200 people including students and members of various organizations participated in the event.

The organizers were delighted and impressed to see the eagerness, keen interest and knowledge of students while participating in the drawing and quiz competitions. They told the SLF team that such activities always help in enriching their knowledge of World Environment Day, the benefits of environmental education and awareness among general public.

The Snow Leopard Foundation strongly believes in instilling love for wildlife and nature in young minds as this will go a long way in helping the conservation process and save the endangered wildlife and nature. SLF has recently launched a cartoon story book based on human conflicts with nature and wildlife, especially with the snow leopard. These story books were also distributed among students of Gilgit, along with prizes during the World Environment Day celebrations.

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