"Snow leopards denote the health of the ecosystem,' said actor-producer and climate changemaker Dia Mirza as she discussed the imminent dangers faced by the endangered cat in a 24-hour, virtual global initiative.
The event was organized by The Snow Leopard Trust. Dia, who is also an Advocate of the Secretary General's of the United Nations for SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, conferred with wildlife experts and conservationists about science and community-based measures.
Addressing the diminishing population of the snow leopard, she said, "Snow leopards are the icons of mountain ecosystems. They are a precious gift from nature that we all must cherish but since they don’t have a voice or a vote, we must reach out and encourage people to contribute what they can towards their protection. We must ensure that policy-makers start engaging with conservation issues. We can’t pretend all is well. This cat is endangered, and it faces an array of threats. But the snow leopard still has a chance if we act in time. Snow Leopard’s are the thermometer for Climate Change as they are also the thermometer of the mountains. Saving and protecting them and their habitats ensures the health and survival of millions of lives connected to the mountain ecosystems that feed countless rivers. Also, 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are addressed by addressing snow leopard conservation. This indicates how intrinsically human lives are connected with this majestic iconic species. They denote the health of the entire ecosystem."
About her experience as the voice of snow leopard Laila in an environmental podcast back in 2019, Dia said, "It was so wonderful to imagine what it would be like to live in the majestic mountains as a snow leopard. These majestic animals evoke strong emotions in many people, yet, not many know about their plight. I was happy to play Laila because I feel storytelling is an art and can do wonders to spread the message about conservation in a way that stirs and moves people to take action."
Dia also shared why she uses her multiple social media platforms with over 13 million followers to spread the message of environmental protection and to draw attention to several other causes.
Dia added, "I am grateful every day for the compassion and support of my followers as I try to create positive change with my voice. That is really what I think is the best thing about social media; the fact that we can all become a shared voice to advocate change."
She also asked everyone who tuned in to find at least one way to contribute to conservation, be it asking for policy changes, donating even a small sum, or voting for conservation-minded leaders.
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