Islamabad: The weeklong fifth Pakistan Mountain Festival (PMF) will take off with the Rock Wall climbing in the Margallah Hills and artificial wall at the Ibex Club Rawal Lake Park on December 6, said Munir Ahmed, PMF Festival Director and Executive Director Devcom-Pakistan while talking to a group of media persons Thursday.
Pakistan Mountain Festival is an annual event founded by the Development Communications network (Devcom-Pakistan) to commemorate the UN International Mountain Day that is celebrated on 11 December every year. The core partners of the 5th Pakistan Mountain Festival will be Capital Development Authority (CDA), GLOF and Mountain & Market projects of UNDP and ministry of Climate Change, EvK2CNR, SEED project, Directorate of Central Karakoram National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism, ICIMOD and Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan national Centre for UNESCO, The Adventure Club, Ibex Club, NUST, NUML, Bahria University, Fatima Jinnah University, Boy Scouts Association, Girl Guides Association and several other educational institutions and civil society organizations.
Munir Ahmed said, the mountain paintings exhibition is scheduled on Tuesday December 8, the recently published “Central Karakoram National Park Guidebook” coupled with a seminar “Promoting mountain products – a way forward” will be arranged on Wednesday December 9. An Eco-friendly hiking and Margallah HillsTrail-3 cleanup will be organized in the morning of Sunday December 13. The three-day exhibition of mountain products and cultural performances will take place at the Art & Craft Village on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11-13 December).
Munir Ahmed said the United Nations General Assembly designated 11 December “International Mountain Day”. As of 2003, it has been observed every year to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.
The PMF Festival Director said, promoting Mountain Products is the theme chosen for this year’s celebration of International Mountain Day. Globalization offers opportunities for mountain producers to market their high quality mountain products, such as coffee, cocoa, honey, herbs, spices and handicrafts at the national, regional and international levels. Though mountain agriculture cannot compete with the prices and volumes of lowland production, it can concentrate on high value, high quality products to boost local economies.
“Tourism-related services such as skiing, climbing, cultural heritage or nature trails that allow visitors to discover unique biodiversity are also some of the offerings provided by mountains and mountain communities. If sustainably managed, tourism can provide an opportunity for development in mountain regions.
Munir said International Mountain Day 2015 provides an occasion to highlight how mountain communities are protecting biodiversity by producing a large variety of typical products and providing crucial goods and services to all of us. While Promoting Mountain Products is the suggested theme for 2015, countries, communities and organizations are welcome to celebrate International Mountain Day through the choice of a different theme that might be more relevant to them.