“Social, Economic and Environmental Development of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) and Buffer zone” (SEED) is a five year initiative carried out in one of the most remote and under developed regions of Pakistan. The project aims to improve the well-being of local communities living around CKNP and supporting them in securing eco-sustainable livelihoods practices in the farm and non-farm sector, building upon indigenous resources supported by modern technologies.The SEED project will also support local people in their attempts to improve their living condition, well-being and access to important livelihood assets and options improvements of local people’s wellbeing, in the valleys around the park, whereby the project will ensure that this support is not in conflict with, but support the park management.
Furthermore, the project will address basic needs, regarding health, hygiene and sanitation and education of communities living in the remote parts of Central Karakoram National Park Buffer zone.SEED Project carries out activities aimed at developing skills for local people working in the craft- and small trade industry sectors as well as activities aimed at improving the productivity of ecologically sustainable agricultural production and their marketing. These activities support not only the diversification of cash income sources available to local households but also improve directly the food security of communities in the remote areas of the park’s Buffer Zone.
Carry out research and establishing monitoring schemes to support the development and effective implementation of the CKNP management plan and conservation in the park’s Buffer Zone and developing and improving the park Directorate and Karakoram International University’s capacity to ensure effective operation and management of CKNP.
With Ev-K2-CNR and Karakoram International University (KIU) expertise in high-altitude environmental research, a key focus of the SEED project is to promote environmental research that effectively addresses the information needs of National Park management and development initiatives in Gilgit-Baltistan region. The program, which will be carried out in and around Central Karakoram National Park, aims also at developing the capacity within Gilgit-Baltistan for such research, monitoring and management or the acquired information, knowledge and data. To this end, a Center for applied mountain studies (IMARC) will be established at Karakoram International University, which is located in Gilgit in collaboration with Italian Universities.
Through the research program associated with the establishment of this faculty, SEED Project will play a key role in supporting the achievement of the results of the PC-1 for Central Karakoram National Park: the realization of the park on the ground through an appropriate management plan that accounts for the real situation and addresses concrete problems. Furthermore, through SEED and the collaboration of Karakoram International University and Pakistan Meteorological Department, Ev-K2-CNR’s global network for the monitoring of atmospheric and meteorological data, including phenomena related to climate change, will be extended into the Karakoram Mountain Range. Initiate an integrated development of CKNP Region, building upon intrinsically generated and managed knowledge, and the involvement of educated organized local communities to support the development of an equitable, culturally sensitive and eco-sustainable tourism industry in the project area.
Eco-sustainable tourism is an economic sector with a high potential in Baltistan and furthermore, it is compliant with the National park’s vision, objectives and regulations. It has the potential to generate funds which could sustainably support the park management and open up new perspectives for local communities, which are key to foster local support for the park’s vision and regulations. SEED project supports the adoption of sustainable local resource management practices and, the development of eco-sustainable park and tourism facilities and services and capacity building for their sustainable management. This also includes the promotion of Central Karakoram National Park at the national and global levels, with a special focus on the development of “soft” tourist attractions, such as the rich cultural heritage in the area in collaboration with the private sector, research institutes and the park management.