The Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan applauds continued support from the Italian Government

ISLAMABAD: (Mountain Pass) EvK2CNR and Government of Gilgit Baltistan sign the MOU at a ceremony held at GB house Islamabad on February 17, 2022. The MoU was cosigned by Mr. Agostino Da Polenza, President EvK2CNR and Mr. Sumair Ahmad Syed, Secretary Forest, Wildlife and Environment representing government of Gilgit Baltistan.

Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Mr. Khalid Khursheed, Senior Minister Forest and Wildlife GB Mr. Raja Zikriaya, Ms. Emanuaela Benini, Director Italian Development Cooperation, Mr. Maurizio Gallo, President EvK2Minoprio, Mr. Marco Marchetti from Italian Development Cooperation and other guests were also present at the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Mr. Khalid Khursheed appreciated the support from the Italian Government and the interventions of EvK2CNR for the last several decades. He said that the GB Government is in process of devising and implementing vision 2030 and to execute it with several local and international partners in the fields of environmental conservation, ecotourism, agriculture, horticulture, livestock etc. He invited Italian Development Cooperation and EvK2CNR to join hands with the GB government both in planning and implementation of the vision 2030. He said that livestock will soon be designated as an industry in the province whereas the fruit trees will be provided to farmers for establishing orchards that will be governed by the local community under the local government system comprisedon the farmers and local community members. He said that farmers will yield enormous financial benefits.

Ms. Emanuela Benini presented to the Chief Minister the proposed work plan and details of activities to be executed under ETI, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. She said that the financial support from AICS will focus on multiple sectors such as medicinal plants that is of paramount importance in the context of GB that needs a huge amount of attention to carry out comprehensive research to benefit from it in commercial terms also ensuring to save it from exploitation. She further said that One Health will lead to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and the environment at large undertaking collaborative efforts in GB. Interventions in the buffer zones of protected areas of GB will also be advantageous to further build on the initiatives of EvK2CNR and other partners supported by the Italian Government in the past. The Chief Minister appreciated the support from the AICS for ETI and assured to get back quickly after reviewing the documents. Ms. Emanuala further said that the AICS will fund the Glacier and Student Project that will be executed by UNDP and EvK2CNR in GB.

Mr. Maurizio Gallo, President EvK2Minoprio Foundation and Mr. Arif Hussain Regional Manager EvK2CNR GB informed the CM about the 70th anniversary of K2 since its first ascent in 1954 by the Italian mountaineers. Mr. Gallo said that the high-altitude porters in GB will be trained for three years involving international trainers from Italy under a project of GB Government led by Tourism Department. Mr. Arif shared one of the proposals to train women mountaineers of Pakistan for three years from 2022 to 2024 and to launch the expedition in 2024 as part of the 70th anniversary of K2. The Chief Minister advised to be highly cautious in taking steps in this regard considering the sensitivities attached to it. He also proposed to invite the climbers of K2 to GB in 2024 to a conference and also carrying out a waste management campaign during the same year.

Mr. Agostino Da Polenza, President EvK2CNR informed the CM about the upcoming BIT (Tourism Fair) to be held in Milan from April 10-12, 2022. He suggested that it would be a great opportunity for CM and GB government to showcase the potential and the beauty of the region to a great number of international audiences.

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