LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Social, Economic and Environmental Development (SEED) project under the framework of the Pakistan Italian Debt-for-Development Swap Agreement (PIDSA), for the promotion of domestic and international tourism and trekking expeditions to the different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, especially to the K-2 and surrounding areas and the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP).
The LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari inked the Memorandum on behalf of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry while SEED was represented by its Country Operations Manager Raffael Del Cima. LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar was also present on the occasion.
As per agreement, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would extend maximum support to SEED for a three-day festival ‘The K2 and Beyond’ from March 28-30, 2014, being arranged in connection with the K-2 60th anniversary at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The three-day festival includes exhibitions, music and documentaries. An exhibition of photo highlights from the researcher and scientist Filippo De Filippi (1913-1914) titled ‘Rediscovering the Abode of Snow’. Exhibition of flora and fauna of the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP), International Mountain Film Festival and Scientific Workshop to mainstream the natural resources, climatically, geologically and ecologically.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the Lahore Chamber has partnered with this unique event to promote domestic tourism that remained untapped only because of lack of awareness. He said that tourism sector had attained the status of billion dollar industry and a little attention towards its promotion in the outer world could do miracle as far as economic well being of the country is concerned.
Engineer Sohail Lashari said that there are a large number of countries in the world that earning unimaginable foreign exchange through focus on tourism but it is very unfortunate that Pakistan had failed to tap unmatched domestic tourism potential.
Speaking on the occasion, SEED Country Operations Manager Raffael Del Cima said that the SEED is one of the most comprehensive projects developed in collaboration with the Karakorum International University (KIU) and thanks to the support of numerous Pakistani partners such as Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP), WWF, Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP), Alpine Club of Pakistan, ICIMOD, Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), Mountain and Glaciers Protection Organization (MGPO). The project, fully financed by PIDSA (Pakistan Italian Debt-for-Development Swap Agreement) since November 2009, and aspires at an interactive development of the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP) through supporting the implementation and management of CKNP, improving well-being and livelihoods option of local people.
Among its many activities, Ev-K2-CNR Committee has always been committed to the promotion of the mountain environmental world among the larger public and keen to disseminate its culture, its peculiarities and its utmost importance. That is the reason why scientific research and development cooperation activities have always been supported by a thorough communication program.
The other stakeholders and partners including Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO), Karakorum International University (KIU), AKRSP, WWF, MGPO, GB Tourism department, CKNP, Alpine Club would be extending support to promote domestic and international tourism and trekking expeditions to the different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, especially to the K-2 and surrounding areas and the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP).