ISLAMABAD: (PR) UNDP Pakistan and EvK2CNR celebrated World Tourism Day at Deosai, Roof of the World on September 27, 2018. Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator, Pakistan was the chief guest on this occasion whereas Mr. Guido Bilancini, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Italy in Pakistan was guest of honor on this occasion. Mr. Aman Ullah Khan, Assistant Country Director UNDP, Mr. Abduvakkos Abdurahmanov UNDP and other UNDP officials, Government representatives, Alpine of Club of Pakistan, BATO (Baltistan Association of Tour Operators) Baltistan University (BU), communities of Skardu and Astore, Park staff, tourists, Journalists and other guest participated in the event.
Mr. Guido and Mr. Neil Buhne appreciated the role of evk2cnr together with other partners in the conservation of nature. They highly commended the idea of holding International Tourism Day on Deosai unlike the events which are generally held in the major cities. Mr. Arif Hussain Manager North EvK2CNR shared with the participants the objectives of holding the event at Deosai National Park. He said that in the last three years the number of tourists entering into DNP has increased manifold which has posed challenges to conservation of nature. Particularly the waste management is an emerging threat the park is faced with. He also that the DNP staff supported by Government Forest, Wildlife and Environment department is working in a very effective manner to deal with such challenges even within the limited resources.
Mr. Neil Buhne said that it is of very important to work on the conservation of protected areas. He appreciated EvK2CNR for collaborating with UNDP for holding the event on deosai to spread awareness on waste management in Deosai National Park . He said that Deosai may face a waste management challenge like in Nepal and to avoid such a situation, he advised to take measures involving all stakeholders. He said that we should make it a tradition to celebrate World Tourism Day at least in two or five years on Deosai. Mr. Neil Buhne highly praised the park staff for working hard for the protection and conservation of nature.
Mr. Guido Bilancini talked about the Italian interventions in GB and assured to continue the support in the future. He said that we have a huge responsibility to provide a cleaner environment to our coming generations and for that we all will need to work together. Earlier Mr. Riaz ul Hassan, Resident Representative EvK2CNR briefed the mission on the objectives of the event.
The represenative of the DNP, Mr. Mehdi informed the participants that in 2018 almost 60000 (sixty thousand tourist have visited the park. He said that the staff within available resources manage to collect and transport waste to dumping sites. He said that the number of Brown Bear has increased from 15 to 74 because of effective conservation measures from the department and civil society organizations and communities.
The representatives of community, Alpine Club of Pakistan and Baltistan University thanked UNDP, Italian government, EvK2CNR for interventions in CKNP and DNP.
Almost 110 people participated in the event. They were provided transportation from Skardu and Astore and at the end were provided with refreshment.