Consultative Workshop on Sustainable Development Interventions in the Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan

A consultative workshop on ‘Integration and Harmonization of Sustainable Development Interventions in the Central Karakoram National Park of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan’ was held in Islamabad from 14 to 15 November. The workshop was jointly organized by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ev-K2-CNR. The objective of the joint workshop was to present the results of the key studies of the project, including presentations on 'Development of Monitoring and Management Plan of the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP)" by Ev-K2-CNR, 'Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Study' by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, and ‘Development of Decision Support Tools for CKNP’ by ICIMOD. 

In his opening remarks Dr Jawed Ali Khan, Director General, Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan, stressed the need for in-depth studies of fragile ecosystems in CKNP with strategic goals. He said that any substantial climatic change in the region could adversely affect the whole of Pakistan through effects on the Indus River system. In his welcome remarks, Dr Wu Ning, Programme Manager of Ecosystem Services at ICIMOD, highlighted the importance of mountain ecosystem services and the benefits they provide to both the upstream and downstream communities. He also briefed the participants on the Karakoram Pamir landscape programme, an upcoming initiative of ICIMOD in the Western Himalayas. Dr Subrata Sinha, South Asia Officer at the UNEP, said that the CKNP region has a rich natural biodiversity and cultural heritage. He added that the CKNP region is highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change and efforts must be made to improve the quality of life of local communities and enhance the conservation of the region’s environmental, architectural and cultural heritage. He emphasized the importance of enhancing the capacity of local communities and institutions to adapt to climate change for the sustainable development of the area. 

During the second session of the workshop, key stakeholders of the CKNP presented future plans and synergies with recent work. Participants in the meeting included experts from national and international institutions, including Karakoram International University, the Directorate of Central Karakoram National Park, WWF-Pakistan, Global Change Impact Study Center, Agha Khan Rural Support Programme, UNEP, Ev-K2-CNR Committee, and ICIMOD.