Mountains have tied Italy and Pakistan for more than 100 years, Italian Ambassador

ISLAMABAD: Embassy of Italy in Islamabad and EvK2CNR Pakistan celebrated International Mountains Day on December 11 and 12 in Islamabad. Major event took place on December 11 at a local hotel in the evening, where best films from prestigious Trento Film Festival 65th edition were screened for public. Besides music from mountains was played with cultural performances that was lauded enormously by the participants.

H.E Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Mr. Abu Akif, Federal Secretary Climate Change Pakistan, Mr. Agostino Da Polenza, President EvK2CNR (who is also a famous climber), Mr. Ashraf Aman, first Pakistani mountaineer to climb K2, Ms. Uzma Yousuf Pakistan women climber, Mr. Ashraf Sada, Member GB Council and Chairman Standing Committee, Mr. Shahzada Hussain Maqpoon special coordinator to Chief Minister GB, students, environmentalists and a large number of public participated in the event.

H.E Stefano Pontecorvo, the Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, speaking on the occasion welcomed all the participants to the event. He highlighted the importance of mountains in our lives and role everyone o play for the conservation of natural resources including mountains and glaciers.  He informed the participants about the interventions of the Italian Govt in Pakistan related to environment. He expressed his happiness on long relationship between Italy and Pakistan spanning over 100 years since 1909 when the first Italian scientific expedition reached at the base camp of K2 led by Duke of Abruzzi.

Mr. Abu Akif. Federal Secretary Climate Change said that Pakistan particularly Gilgit-Baltistan was bestowed with the abundance of high snowcapped mountains and large glaciers. He invited students and public to visit and see the natural beauty and majestic mountains. He however, mentioned that Pakistan was faced with the climate change threats which needed serious efforts for mitigation and adaption.

Mr. Ashraf Aman, first K2 climber of Pakistan shared with the participants his experience of mountaineering particularly when they lacked equipment and resources compare to present day mountaineering. He thanked Italian Govt, Embassy of Italy in Pakistan and EvK2CNR for the efforts to promote mountaineering, and tourism in GB.  He applauded the waste management interventions on glaciers which has earned for the country immense  appreciation from the mountaineers from all over the world. He said that K2 was the mountain of Italians who conquered it first time in 1954.

Ms. Uzma Yousuf, first Pakistani woman climber of Spantik, expressed her love for mountains. She said that she feels proud to be a woman Pakistani mountaineer. She said that women, potentially, could also do best in mountaineering if they were given support, training and opportunities

Mr. Riaz ul Hassain Resident Representative EvK2CNR Pakistan and Mr. Ashiq Ahmed Khan Scientific Representative EvK2CNR Pakistan threw light on the interventions of the organizations on environment and climate change. EvK2CNR, with support of Italian Govt has collected 80,000 KGs of waste from glaciers and mountains in Gilgit including from the basecamp of K2.

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