AKDN’s series gains global recognition at World Wildlife Day Film Showcase

KARACHI       -       “Shadows in the Snow: Snow Leopards”, an episode of the environmental documentary series “Voices from the Roof of the World”–has been selected for the 50th anniversary World Wildlife Day Film Showcase by UN CITES and Jackson Wild. It took five years for Pakistani filmmaker Abdullah Khan to record this extremely elusive big cat in its vertiginous home range of the Karakoram Mountains.

His film spotlights the threats faced by snow leopards from a warming climate and the destruction of their habitat in Pakistan. With less natural prey to eat, snow leopards have attacked the livestock of local herders’, who kill the big cats in retribution. The film focuses on an innovative programme to construct predator-proof enclosures and reduce human-wildlife conflict. But the looming climate crisis calls for all the countries in the roof of the world to accelerate the protection of this vulnerable species and its stunning home range. Voices from the Roof of the World is a compelling environmental series that aims to raise awareness of the climate crisis in the world’s highest mountain region, stretching from the Pamirs to the Himalayas.

The series is directed by Andrew Tkach, who has over 30 years of experience producing documentaries and TV magazine reports, and has won eight Emmys for his work. As Executive Producer of VRW, he has mentored local talent from Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Tajikistan to produce compelling and impactful documentaries which meet the highest international production standards, addressing one of the most important issues in the world today.

The World Wildlife Day Film Showcase aims to raise awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation and to showcase the work of filmmakers, who are contributing to this cause. The 2023 showcase is dedicated to the theme of “Conservation Heroes - Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation” and highlights the critical role of collaboration in achieving effective conservation outcomes. The episode’s showcase at the event brings global attention to the need for urgent action to protect Central and South Asia’s biodiversity. It inspires audiences around the world to take action and join the global effort to address climate change and protect endangered species. Audiences are encouraged to vote for their favorite film which will have a chance to participate in the Jackson Wild Media Awards, the Oscars of nature filmmaking. Voices from the Roof of the World is a joint initiative of the Aga Khan Development Network’s agencies: Aga Khan University, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Aga Khan Foundation and the University of Central Asia.

Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and its agencies have been a strong voice of action to help communities deal with climate change disasters while conserving the environment. They regularly collaborate with communities, governments, civil society, and the private sector to invest in locally-led initiatives that build local resilience. Voices from the Roof of the World is onesuch effort to put a spotlight on this increasingly urgent problem. Snow Shadows, Snow Leopards is part of the second season of this docuseries. It is available for viewing on AKU’s YouTube Channel and the AKDN website, along with nineteen other half hour films from Seasons 1 and 2. The films have been screened at a dozen international film festivals, from Banff to Rotterdam.

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