The mountain products, handicrafts, art exhibition and cultural performances marked the opening ceremony of the grand event of 12th Pakistan Mountain Festival. Devcom-Pakistan in partnership with Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Ministry of National Heritage and Culture, organized the mountain cultural heritage mainstreaming event on Friday. The guests of honour included, Head of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation chief in Pakistan Emanuela Benini, Kyrgyzstan embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Melis Moldaliev, Pakistan’s renowned mountaineer Nazir Sabir, Gilgit-Baltistan Parliamentary Secretary Kulsoom Farman, National Heritage Division Senior Joint Secretary Abdul Sattar Khokhar, and Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed. Speakers urged the authorities to ensure sustainable use of mountain resources. They said the increasing climate variability, coupled with a lack of investment in mountain agriculture, preservation and promotion of its heritage and culture and rural development, has often pushed men to migrate elsewhere in search of alternative livelihoods. Women have therefore taken on many tasks formerly done by men, yet mountain women are often invisible due to a lack of decision-making power and unequal access to resources. Emanuela Benini Italy, through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, has in Pakistan to contribute to relaunching the centrality of mountain territories on a global level regarding environmental issues, climate change and the socioeconomic development of entire regions that depend for water, and not only on the mountains. So we can remember that there is water, life and so the opposite. Melis Moldaliev said the global environment is the core issue that should be standing in the first place when we are talking about the state agendas of each country. Moreover, every citizen all over the world should be aware of the importance of environmental protection and make changes to become environmentally friendly in all aspects of their lives. Nazir Sabir said mountain communities need to wake up and realize the fast happening changes around them. International Mountain Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the need to empower mountain women so they can participate more effectively in decision-making processes and have more control over productive resources. By sharing excellence, opportunities and capacity development in mountains, the Day shall promote gender equality and therefore contribute to improve social justice, livelihoods and resilience.