International Mountain Day Celebrated at Ziarat

11 December 2010 | News story

IUCN Pakistan, Ziarat Office in collaboration with the local communities celebrated International Mountain Day 2010 at Ziarat. The participants belonged to the Valley Conservation Committees and the Juniper Environmental Council Ziarat. The event was organized to create awareness about the significance of mountains and to mobilise communities for sustainable use of mountain resources. The event began with planting of saplings in ‘Khandi Mountain Range Reserve’ by the community representatives and other participants followed by an awareness raising ceremony held at the PTDC Hotel.

On this occasion representatives of the communities expressed their strong commitment towards conservation of the mountains that are a source of water and the livelihoods for local communities. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Abdul Karim, Finance Secretary of Valley Conservation Committee Ziarat and Mr. Ali Marjan, General Secretary of the VCC Koshki Valley expressed strong commitment towards the sustainable use of mountain resources.

Mr. Mir Alam Afghan, representative of the Juniper Environment Council, Ziarat, expressed concern over the stone crushers installed in Kuchlak area. These crushers are in close proximity to human habitations, which are damaging the environment and health of local communities. He demanded the Government to intervene and stop such activities near human population.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sarwar Khan, President VCC Ziarat Valley emphasized on the importance of natural resources and using them effectively to protect our livelihoods and our environment. He added that the improper use of ecosystem goods and services would be extremely damaging for human beings.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ghulam Qadir Shah, Project Manager, IUCN Ziarat informed that the day demands our commitment to conserve our natural heritage and was of the view that it was easy to cut a tree than to plant and nurture it. He mentioned that the mountains of Ziarat attract tourists because of its beautiful landscape created by Juniper forests. The Juniper trees take hundreds of years to grow. They also contribute to watersheds of the area. He stressed on conserving these natural resources and encouraged the participants for their sustainable use so that the resources are available for the present as well as for the future generations. He appreciated efforts of the communities in establishing a “Range Reserve” in Khandi Mountain and participation of their members in the plantation of saplings. He hoped that each of the Valley Conservation Committee will strive to take care of their forests.

The International Mountain Day is celebrated worldwide on 11th December each year.  The UN General Assembly designated this day to create public awareness on the importance of mountains to life and invite actions regarding sustainable use of mountains. The theme for IMD 2010 is “Mountain Minorities and Indigenous Peoples”.

For further details please contact:

Ghulam Qadir Shah
Project Manager
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Ziarat, Pakistan
Tel. +92 0833-560200, 560254, 0345-2006612;
E-mail: ghulam.qadir@iucn.org