ISLAMABAD, APRIL 6 – Italian Cooperation projects in Pakistan received new momentum with the visit of Italy’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Benedetto Della Vedova, to Islamabad last week. Della Vedova attended the Conference “Italy and Karakorum: from Mt. K2 to the Central Karakorum National Park and beyond” whose closing moment was the signature of the agreement for the second project in support of Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP).
The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, and the Country Director of UNDP, Ignazio Artaza, signed off the new initiative whose general goal is to improve the governance of mountain ecosystems in Northern Pakistan, with special attention to eco-systemic services, conservation of nature, sustainable use of natural resources and promotion of an effective response to climate change.
The project will contribute to improving the opportunities for supporting the local communities, also through the development of sustainable tourism. The Central Karakoram in the Gilgit-Balitstan of Pakistan is a mountain area endowed with rich biodiversity, natural beauty and important resources. The Park compasses the world’s largest glaciers, outside the Polar Regions.
A park between Earth and Sky, it was declared National Park (CKNP) in 1993: today it is the largest protected area of Pakistan, covering over 10,557.73 km2 in the Central Karakorum mountain range and the highest park all over the world, it is characterized by extremes of altitudes that range from 2,000 m a.s.l. to over 8,000 m a.s.l., including K2, the second highest peak in the world. It falls into four administrative districts of Gilgit-Baltistan Region.
In order to facilitate the maintenance of Central Karakoram National Park ecological integrity while, at the same time, providing sustainable management opportunities for local communities and visitors, a zoning system has been implemented. (@alebal)