Islamabad, September 10: Filippo de Filippi photo exhibition ‘Rediscovering the Abode of Snow’ and the international mountain film festival was inaugurated at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) on Monday to celebrate and underline the bilateral cooperation between Italy and Pakistan. Patronized by the Italian Embassy in Islamabad, the Ev-K2-CNR Committee and Karakorum International University initiated the four-day, September 9-10, event in the framework of SEED project, under the theme ‘The Italian Science and Cooperation at the Shadow of K2’.
The photo exhibition ‘Rediscovering the Abode of Snow’ has showcased 300 pieces of photographic material extracted from the original photo albums of the Filippo De Filippi expedition in Central Asia in 1913-1914. These albums were conserved in the archives of the Society for Geographic Studies of Florence, Italy.
Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman to scale Mount Everest, inaugurated the exhibition and the International Mountain Film Festival. The festival will feature six short films including “In the Heart of Asia” and “Next Time Inshallah”.
Addressing a gathering of more than 300 dignitaries, Samina Baig said mountains are providing water and ecological services for both mountain dwellers and people living in plains. “It is unfortunate that foreigners are exploring our mountains and we lack the opportunities due to misplaced priorities and allocation of resources, she added.
Head of the Cultural Affairs at the Italian Embassy, Federido Bianchi said the relationship between Karakorum and Italy dates back to 1909 when the Duke of Abruzzi, the son of the then king, crossed the mighty Karakoram. He said the Italian Government has decided to fund 226 million Euros on activities in the mountainous areas of Pakistan. The Social Economic Environmental Development Project (SEED) with 8 million Euros is being implemented by the Everest-K2-CNR Committee in collaboration with the Karakoram International University, he added.
The president of Ev-K2-CNR, Agostino da Polenza said SEED is focusing to consolidate the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) in the K2 region.
Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University Dr Najma Najam in her remarks said that KIU in partnership with the Ev-K2-CNR is setting up new tradition of working relationship based on the scientific research to protect the natural resource base. She hoped that SEED projects and other funded projects would translate into sustainable development in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Part of the four day event, a day-long scientific conference will be held on Tuesday in which scientists from different parts of the country would deliberate on issues confronting glaciers, water and ecosystems in the Karakoram Range.
With this four-day event, Ev-K2-CNR Committee and SEED Project aim to provide visibility and acknowledgement for achievements and activities of their technical and institutional partners and underline the importance of the donors, at the regional, national and international scale. In particular this event aims to highlight the role of the Governments of Italy and Pakistan as donors of the project. This set of initiatives want to be a concrete opportunity to share and spread what the Ev-K2-CNR Committee and SEED Project are doing to guarantee a real and concrete sustainable development of the Central Karakorum National Park.