ISLAMABAD: (PR) The Italian Embassy in Islamabad, EvK2CNR and UNDP celebrated the International Mountain Day in Islamabad. Hafiz Hafiz Ur Rehman was the chief guest on this occasion whereas His Excellency Stefano Pontecorvo was the guest of honor. Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator, Pakistan, Dr. Ata ullah Shah Vice Chancellor KIU, Dr. Aziz Ali Najam, Mr. Ashraf Aman, first Pakistani K2 climber, Mr. Agostino Da Polenza, president EvK2CNR, diplomats, journalists, students and people from other walks of life participated in the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan praised the Embassy, UNDP and EvK2CNR for holding the event highlighting the importance of mountains. He said that Gilgit Baltistan is bestowed with the natural treasures includes the beautiful and majestic mountains. He said that in order to protect the mountains, it is important to work for mountain communities who rely on the natural resources for their survival. For example people cut trees for heating and cooking purposes that can be lessen with the provision of alternate fuel resources. He appreciated the support of Italian government in Gilgit Baltistan with projects implemented in different fields for last many years. He hoped to have a continuation in the support from the Italian government having the personal interest of the Ambassador. He thanked for the commitment of Italian government to provide financial support for the ETI that will bring 800000 kanals of land under cultivation. He said that EvK2CNR with led by Mr. Agostino Da Polenza is working for the natural conservation and livelihood of the mountain people in GB. He highlighted the development initiatives of UNDP in GB and hope to have more interventions for the well being of the people.
His Excellency Stefano Pontecorvo welcomed the participants to the event. He said that Italians have long association with the mountains in GB. He mentioned that one of Italian Mountaineer, Maurizio Giordano attempted to climb G-IV after sixty years since its first ascent by an Italians. However, in his attempt to summit the peak, he died as an avalanche hit him during his pursuit. He mentioned about the Italian support to the people of Gilgit Baltistan over many years for the conservation of nature, waste management on the mountains and glaciers and welfare of the people. He also expressed his commitment to provide financial support to the ETI project that will be materialized in the coming months.
Mr. Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator, Said that the GB is extremely rich in natural resources that include a large number of snowcapped mountains. He said that the UNDP has been working for the socio-economic and environmental development in the region. Recently UNDP is implementing the project “Improvement of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) Management System as Model for Mountain Ecosystems in Northern Pakistan” in CKNP and DNP with EvK2CNR as an implementation partner that will contribute in the management of the protected areas.
Mr. Ashiq Ahmad Khan, Mr. Aurangzeb and Mr. Arif Hussain highlighted the role and contribution of EvK2CNR in Gilgit Baltistan in the protected areas, for the natural conservation, waste management, and for the well being of the communities implementing number of projects. The EvK2CNR has been able to collect and dispose of almost 90,000 KGs of waste from Baltoro and K2 as well as other mountains in the past one decade with the support of Italian Government. It has led to keep these areas clean providing a tidy environment to the mountaineers.
The best films of Nuovimondi, Italy were screened mainly related to mountains which earned a lot of appreciation from the participants. Earlier, the director of Nuovimondi Film Festival, Fabio Gianotti gave a gave an overview to the participants about the film festival. In the morning the films were screened for the students of colleges and universities. At the end the live music from Gilgit Baltistan was presented that was highly delighting by the participants.