PESHAWAR, Aug 26 (APP):The education and awareness about responsible tourism plays an important role in a successful eco-tourism model, said Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.
He was addressing a gathering of community members at the inauguration ceremony of first conservation tourism site in Hopar Valley, Nagar district, Gilgit Baltistan.
The conservation tourism project is initiated by Snow Leopard Foundation under Pakistan Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (PSLEP). The adviser was received by Rizwan Ali, Member Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly at the ceremony.
He said that Hopar valley was gifted with unlimited gifts of nature and wildlife species including snow leopards.
“We need to show these gifts to the world through tourism without damaging or disturbing the biodiversity of the valley”, he added.
Malik Amin further stated that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, this government has taken measures to promote tourism in Pakistan and has formulated policies to ensure the presence of maximum numbers of tourists from all over the world.
After his address, the adviser visited tourists’ sites in the valley which included ‘tourists information and facilitation centre, glacier view point, glamping site.
Deputy Director SLF and National Project Manager PSLEP Jaffar Uddin briefed the adviser about the progress of the conservation tourism project.
He appreciated the efforts of Snow Leopard Foundation in developing these sites and hoped that it would certainly help in promoting the tourism and also would help in livelihood enhancement of the local community.
He also chaired the cheque distribution ceremony organized by Snow Leopard Foundation under PSLEP project, the start up grant for conservation tourism site development and seed grant for livestock insurance scheme were handed over to the local community organization and ecotourism management committee.
Malik Amin Aslam also toured Nalter valley and visited the snow leopard rehabilitation center. He stayed there for some time and asked about the well-being of the snow leopard being kept there.
The adviser showed satisfaction with the overall condition and health of the snow leopard. He also appreciated SLF for building this facility and managing it professionally.
He also visited Naltar lake and launched cleaning campaign with students from the local school. He participated and led the launching of the campaign and collected waste along with the students all around the lake. He instructed the local people and authorities concerned to make sure that the lake should remain clean and waste free.
Senior officials of district management, forest and wildlife departments, chairman and members of Hopar Community Development Organization, Ecotourism Management Committee, Hopar valley were also present on the occasion.