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Mountain and Sapling Plantation Hike
Conducted

 


to Celebrate International Mountain Day - 2011



The United Nations General Assembly designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as International Mountain Day”. This decision results from the success of the UN International Year of Mountains in 2002, which increased global awareness of the importance of mountains. This is an occasion to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands. Since declaration of the International Mountain Day (IMD) in 2002, Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) – the National Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, has been celebrating the IMD singly or in collaboration with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), and other national and international agencies to highlight importance of the IMD and raise awareness about the mountains amongst the youth, in particular, by holding hikes, seminars etc.

Theme for the IMD – 2011 as set out by FAO was “Mountains and Forests” to raise awareness about the relevance of mountain forests and the role mountains play within a Green Economy as well as in climate change adaptation measures. Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) with sponsorships from PTDC and Pakistan Adventure Tour Operators (PATO) arranged a Hike on the Margalla Hills, Islamabad along with plantation of saplings with the collaboration of PTDC and Capital Development Authority to:-

1) develop physical contact of the younger generation with the mountains through Hike making
2) raise awareness amongst the youth about the importance of Forests and preservation of the Mountain Ecology by planting saplings on the Margalla Hills, Islamabad and
3) raise awareness amongst younger generation about the affects of Climate Change.

The ACP Hiking Committee headed by Mr Ayaz Ahmad Shigri with the support of ACP Vice President W/Comd Jawaid Iqbal (Retd) organised the Hike About 300 students both girls and boys from Islamabad/Rawalpindi from various educational institutions/organisations and others participated in the Hike. The Eco tourism Society, Islamabad provided volunteers for management along with 50 participants for the Hike.

As the participants assembled at Trail-5 on Margalla Road near the CDA Nursery they after registration by 10 am and were addressed by an outstanding student Mr Ali who had secured first position in the A Level exams. Later all the participants were addressed by Lt Col Manzoor Hussain (Retd) President ACP mentioned about the importance of mountains and the forests. He mentioned that we need to adopt measures to adapt to the Climate Change phenomenon. Later the participants planted saplings provided by CDA near the CDA nursery. After saplings plantation the participants started their hike on the Margalla Hills trail No 3 leading to the Pir Sohawa Road, where they were welcomed by President ACP. All the participants climbed the trek between two to three hours.

Closing ceremony of the Hike was held at the La Montana Restaurant, Pir Sohawa Road, Margallan Hills. Syed Mehdi Shah, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan was the Chief Guest on the occasion who distributed ACP shields amongst the participating schools, colleges and other participants. Mr Ayaz Ahmad Shigri, Convenor of the organising committee presented report of the event. Lt Col Manzoor Hussain (Retd) President ACP emphasised on preservation of the mountain environments. He informed that due to excessive melting of the glaciers of Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush measures including construction of water reservoirs are vital. Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan speaking on the occasion lauded efforts of the Alpine Club of Pakistan through this Hike to introduce youth to the mountains. He said that Gilgit Baltistan is the custodian of high mountains and invited all the youth to visit high mountains of Gilgit Baltistan. At the end of the ceremony all were treated with lunch by ACP.

List of participating Institutions is as under:-

Sr. No.

Name of Institution

Number of Participants

1

F. G. College for Women F-7/2, Islamabad

50

2

COMSATS University, Islamabad

5

3

Riphah University, Islamabad

50

4

ECO Adventure Club, Islamabad

60

5

Foundation School, Islamabad

50

6

Army Public School, Rawalpindi

10

7

Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

10

8

Mobilink, Islamabad

8

9

Kohsar Cadet College

30

10

Islamabad College for Girls F-6/2, Islamabad

7

11

Islamabad Alpine Association

10

12

Chiltan Adventures Association Balochistan

3

13

SHACK (Sindh)

1

14

Pakistan Skiing Federation

6

15

Total

310

 

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