Five questions for Ev-K2-CNR. Preserving a national park in Pakistan while opening up to world markets

While these high-altitude terrains are difficult to reach, the project has achieved some good results as well as having successfully involved the local population. The experts of the Karakorum area of the Ev-K2-CNR initiative supply answers to our questions.

At Expo Milano 2015, visitors will be made aware of Ev-K2-CNR project thanks to the photo-story displayed in Pavilon Zero. What message would you like to convey with your approach to the issue of food security?
We would like people to understand that this topic, albeit important, cannot be seen as a stand-alone issue, but needs to be addressed in the context of a wider strategy linked to the sustainable use of renewable energy in a given area. Only in this fashion is it possible to guarantee that the benefits achieved will be so in the long term.
What difficulties have you encountered while working on your project? What have you had to change with respect to the original plan?
The major difficulties occurred when we tried to share the project with the local communities, in preparation for setting up managing committees related to issues on food. Switching from a family-based management system of resources to one that was keyed on a wider group and was eco-compatible was not simple, and forced us to add a stage of awareness training and capacity building. We also had to redouble our efforts in terms of social mobilization, and also overcome difficulties deriving from low literacy levels, not to mention a wide array of local dialects, some of which do not exist in written form.
Since the submission date, how has your project developed to date?
The idea of pursuing our objectives in a wider context, thus not being limited to self-sufficiency, but exploiting the commercial potential of both the local and the global markets is becoming more compelling, especially in terms of organic produce, which is typical of this area. How you would certify organic products, how you would promote them, and then sell them are issues that have emerged during the course of the project.
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