June 13, 2021: “Development of conservation tourism sites in snow leopard habitats is a unique initiative to support the local communities and promote the snow leopard conservation”; said Mr. Malik Amin Aslam Minister for Climate Change / Special Assistant to the Prime Minister at the launching of Glamping site at Hopper valley in Gilgit Baltistan. I am extremely pleased to see the ‘Camp Leo’ (Leo name of a snow leopard) becoming a reality within one year after we had envisioned the idea of an Eco-resort at one of the most beautiful snow leopard valleys in Gilgit Baltistan. The quality of work done and services offered at Camp Leo certainly shows the hard work and dedication by all the team members of Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF), Sustainable Tourism Foundation of Pakistan (STFP), local community, and other stakeholders involved, “I am sure it will become a model for country-driven Eco-tourism and snow leopard conservation”, he further stated.
Regional Program Manager SLF/ PSLEP Mr. Hussain Ali welcomed the honorable guest at Camp Leo. Mr. Hussain Ali briefed and showed around the camp which comprises of two log huts and four luxury eco tents. A dining hall and tourist sitting area is also part of the newly develop camp to accommodate local and international tourists. He informed the honorable guest that every effort is made during the construction and development of the camp to keep it environmentally friendly. We are sure the tourists will find this place comfortable and would enjoy the breathtaking landscape including glaciers and peaks around the valley, and see the wildlife in its natural habitat along with the great traditional hospitality of the local community.
The conservation tourism site is developed in Hopper valley by SLF under its GEF funded project Pakistan Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (PSLEP), under the supervision of the Ministry of Climate Change and UNDP Pakistan as one of the PSLEP project components of community-based conservation to improve and enhance the livelihood of local communities in snow leopard valleys. The glamping site is one of the three facilities being developed, a hi-tech Tourists Information and Facilitation Center and Glacier Watching Point are the other two facilities being developed for the tourists. The development of conservation tourism sites is also a contribution to the efforts of the present government to promote tourism and create a positive image of the country internationally.