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UNDP, WWF to support Pakistan Mountain Festival

Islamabad : (Parliament Times) United National Development Programme (UNDP Pakistan) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF Pakistan) have agreed to support some of the events of 7th Pakistan Mountain Festival to engage youth and the young art teachers. Both the organizations would be supporting the youth rock climbing, Margallah Hills Train 5 clean up, screening of mountain films and especially the UNDP would support the live painting competition for the art teachers of the twin cities who would paint the landscape of Margallah Hills on the spot.
Pakistan Mountain Festival Director Munir Ahmed said the support from UNDP and WWF means a lot to strengthen the Pakistan Mountain Festival that is aimed at raising awareness about the climate challenges confronting the mountains and to mainstream its cultural diversity, and to promote and mainstream the mountain products, cultural and eco-tourism.
The festival also provides the mountain communities the market linkages for the promotion of their goods and services, and gives a push to the review process of the national and regional policies and programs concerning the mountain issues, he said.
Munir Ahmed said “More awareness on mountain conservation and development and implementation of action plans are not possible without active and dynamic engagement of development partners, local and federal governments along with communities”.
He said the vulnerability of Pakistan Mountains is increasing with every passing day and the elected representatives from mountain constituencies are sleeping over the fate of fast depleting local resources and miseries of the mountain communities. The sustainable conservation and development of mountains cannot be achieved without active participation of the communities in the development projects being run by the government and the development partners.
Munir Ahmed said our efforts are being recognised by the mountain communities and their youth with their active participation that is why we have especial events to engage youth and communities in our festival that promotes their talent and potential in real-time. In recognition of our services and contribution to provide market linkages to mountain communities for the products and services, and to mainstream the challenges confronting the mountains, the UN FAO supported Rome-based Mountain Partnership has given us organisational membership two years back. This has led us to highlight the plight of mountain communities and the challenges being faced by the Pakistan’s mountains.
Aimed at engaging different stakeholders for integrated efforts to protect and promote mountains and the mountain communities, the 7th Pakistan Mountain Festival will begin from Saturday November 25 with a youth rock climbing competition at the Daman e Koh. The Margallah Hills Trail 5 clean-up will be done on Sunday November 26 while five documentaries and films reflecting challenges to the life and natural resources of mountains will be shown on Monday November 27 at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) in collaboration with the PNCA Film Club.
A live painting competition for the art teachers would be arranged in the Margallah Hills National Park on Tuesday November 28while about 250 paintings by the students will be put on display in an exhibition ‘Mountain Marvels’ at the Art Gallery of the Rawalpindi Arts Council on the same day. The Mountain Cultural Showcase will take place on December 8 and 9 at the Ibex Club, Lake View Park. Over 300 youth delegates from different parts of the Pakistan Mountains will be participating in the Pakistan Mountain Youth Parliament on Saturday December 9.

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