GILGIT: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan marked the International Day of Biodiversity with the launch of its new documentary.

UNDP’s on Brown Bears

It’s also produced in partnership with the Serena Hotels, to raise awareness about the conservation of the brown bear population in Northern Pakistan.

The 15-minute documentary also aims to raise awareness about the endangered because Himalayan brown bear in the unique Deosai Plateau, well-known for its rich flora and fauna of the Karakoram alpine steppe eco-region.

Himalayan Brown Bears

The Himalayan subspecies of the Brown also bears are one of the oldest and most significant inhabitants of the Deosai plateau.

The population of these bears — once known to be over 10,000 in number — has now plummeted to an estimated 54 bears residing in the plains.

Deosai National Park also remains the only habitat for these wild mammals. which has witnessed a steady increase in numbers of the otherwise fast receding population of the Himalayan brown bears.

The documentary examines how climate change and human activity are endangering the Himalayan Brown Bear population in Northern Pakistan. 

Documentary ‘Deosai – Wilderness in Peril

The original English documentary and a version dubbed in Urdu are also available on the internet to facilitate public awareness and educational purposes.

“Thanks to Serena Hotels, PTCL, and all the individual contributors to our cause, our campaign has been very successful so far.  But this is also an ongoing effort and we all have a role to play, by informing people about the dangers of biodiversity loss, acting as responsible tourists, promoting environmentally-friendly behaviours, mobilizing public opinion or demanding action by decision-makers,” said Mr. Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP.

Panel Discussion on Biodiversity

The screening of the documentary was followed by a panel discussion on Biodiversity. Sana Jamal moderated the Eco-system conservation.

The panelists included Mr Asifullah Khan, Secretary, Forest Wildlife and Environment, Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative a.i. UNDP, Dr. Farida Begum, Head of Department, Environmental Sciences Department, Karakorum International University, and Dr. Fozia Parveen, Environmental Activist.

The launch ceremony and panel discussion held at the Serena Hotel, Gilgit was also attended by Government representatives, local community members, environmental activists, media representatives, and students from local universities.

Sustainable Development Goal

The Sustainable Development Goal number 15 also aims to protect, restore and also promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.

The sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and also reverse land degradation and also halt biodiversity loss.

UNDP also believes that biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are essential for improving and sustaining human wellbeing.

CEO Serena Hotels, Mr. Aziz Boolani said, “The loss of biodiversity is one of the key challenges facing Pakistan right now.

Aziz Boolani also said, “We have been providing continuous support towards environmental initiatives and also have taken responsible tourism practices to create awareness.”

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