Islamabad: The six best paintings on mountain ecosystems and endangered species were awarded with certificates, shields and cash prizes here on Thursday. All the paintings were displayed for the review of the three-member jury and the visitors.
These paintings were prepared in a live painting competition among the students from different universities and colleges of the twin-cities on the theme “Restoring the Mountain Ecosystems.”
The live painting competition was organized by Devcom-Pakistan in connection with its ongoing 10-day long 13th edition of Pakistan Mountain Festival (PMF). The Snow Leopard Foundation supported the event. Over twenty participants took part in the competition.
They preferred oil on canvas and acrylics 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.
Hifza Shakeel from Viqar un Nina College for women Rawalpindi, Hamna from Islamabad College for Girls F-6/2, Ali Rehman from City school Sector H-8, Viqar un Nisa Noon Girls Higher Secondary Institute’s student Haniya Ashfaq, the Roots Ivy student Zoha Khan and Zainab Rehman Butt from Rawalpindi Women University won the first six positions respectively. Riffat Ara Baig was awarded for organizing a successful competition.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Director of Snow Leopard Foundation Jaffar uddin (PhD) said Mountain ecosystems provide vital services to human life. Mountains sequester CO2, clean water and the air and regulate floods. Worldwide, they provide for the livelihoods of more than half of human society. Climate change is particularly acute in mountains. He said: Snow leopards are an integral part of the mountain ecology. Despite the unprecedented role they play in keeping the mountain ecosystems intact, the population of snow leopards is dwindling across its range. The situation calls for multi-sector and multi-stakeholder coordination by promoting the public-private partnership to foster snow leopard conservation at national, regional, and local levels.
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 communities are often the primary managers of mountain resources, guardians of biodiversity, keepers of traditional knowledge, custodians of local culture and experts in traditional medicine. Somehow, mountain women’s potential and contribution to conservation has been undermined.”