Students paint endangered species of mountains

December 05, 2023

Rawalpindi:The students from different universities and colleges of the twin-cities enthusiastically take part in a live painting competition on the theme “Restoring the Mountain Ecosystems” on Monday at the Rawalpindi Art Gallery.

Over twenty students take part in the competition organized by Devcom-Pakistan in connection with ongoing 10-day long 13th edition of Pakistan Mountain Festival (PMF). The collaborating partners included the Punjab Arts Council Rawalpindi and the Snow Leopard Foundation.

The representational image shows a young female leopard with three cubs in the Land of the Leopard National Park. — AFP/File

The participants used oil and acrylics on their canvases to reflect the mountain ecosystems. They especially highlighted the challenges confronting the endangered species including brown bear, snow leopard, markhor and several others. They also painted the struggle of communities in combating real-life challenges in the changing climate, women in mountain ecosystem conservation, and cultural heritage from the northern parts of Pakistan. They depicted the impact of climate change on life in mountains besides the aesthetic value. Speaking on the occasion, Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director and founder of Pakistan Mountain Festival Munir Ahmed said: “Mountains are the hub of valuable natural resources that are being compromised because of irrational practices. Different organizations with the participation of communities are playing their key role in environmental protection and socioeconomic development in the mountain areas. We need to put every effort into keeping the mountain ecosystems intact. The Director Punjab Arts Council Rawalpindi Waqar Ahmed asked the educational institutions to engage the students into environmental conservation and to reduce the consumption of natural resources. He said creative arts are the best way to engage students in environmental awareness. He also appreciated Devcom-Pakistan for its annual flagship event to mark the International Mountain Day that falls on December 11.

The Assistant Director Snow Leopard Foundation Shoaib Hameed also visited the competition and appreciated the participants' work. He said restoration of the mountains’ ecosystems under the framework of climate resilience shall be the focus to empower communities to protect their homelands. He said the SLF is engaged in snow leopard conservation and protection in 12 countries.

Riffat Ara Baig, the coordinator of the event, said the students have shown their creative flare in the best way possible. Their potential and talent may be used for highlighting the conservation efforts. She said “Mountains play a significant role in providing water and food supply to millions of people in the world.

Kanwal Maqsood, a student of Rawalpindi Women university, painted the Himalayan brown bear. She said millions have been spent on the conservation of this species. But, the irrational tourism interventions in the Deosai National Park have compromised the conservation efforts. Another participant, Zoha Khan painted the endangered snow leopard, saying efforts shall be enhanced to protect the snow leopard habitats.