SIDRA SAIF ISB: WWF-Pakistan, in collaboration with Hoper Conservation and Development Organization, Hoper Development Organization and Education Department Hunza-Nagar district organized a Mountain Community Seminar on Climate Change in Hoper Valley, Nagar to spread environmental education through WWF-Pakistans Asia High Mountain project to focus on climate change impacts on the livelihoods of mountain communities.
The seminar was jointly chaired by Aqil Hussain, Deputy Director Education, Hunza-Nagar district and Professor (Retd.) Nadeem, Mehran University, a leading environmentalist of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB); Saeed Abbas, Conservation Officer, Asia High Mountain project, WWF-Pakistan and Amir Hamza, Chairman, Hoper Conservation and Development Organization.
Through this seminar, local communities, students and teachers were sensitized regarding the importance of environmental education, focusing on climate change vulnerabilities, capacity building of local communities to adapt and mitigate climate change, impacts on their livelihood and overall annual income.
According to Saeed Abbas, Pakistan ranks among the top ten countries vulnerable to climate change and its northern areas are highly vulnerable to unusual climatic events especially glacial melt, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) and flash floods, thus putting mountain communities at risk. Its extremely important that the government, civil society, NGOs and other stakeholders work together to mitigate and adapt to this changing phenomenon.
A thematic poster and skit competition was also organized to raise climate change awareness among secondary school students. The theme of the poster competition was Impacts of Climate Change on Mountain Communities and theme of the skit was Learn to Live with Change. The audiences appreciated the innovative art work and skits by students from Hunza and Nagar.
USWA Public School Ganish was awarded first position in the skit competition, Faizi Academy, Summair Askurdas Shahyar (SAS) valley and SEDNA School Aliabad jointly placed second and Hunza Public school came in third. The art work of participating schools was appreciated by the guests and audience.
WWF-Pakistans Asia High Mountain project team works with academic institutions and local communities to raise awareness and understanding about climate change, water resources and the importance of biodiversity. It provides students an insight into the environmental dynamics of mountains areas of Pakistan, as well as challenges and solutions for environmental conservation. WWF-Pakistan aims to bring about a change in the mindset of the public by highlighting the importance of nature in their daily lives and creating an environment where humans live in harmony with nature.