On the occasion of the first International Mt. Everest Day, the HKKH Partnership Project has been inspired and encouraged to take a step further as well. A unique exchange has been organized to bring together stakeholders from the Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan to visit the Sagarmatha National Park.
This exchange programme will take place from May 26 to June 5, 2008 to share knowledge and expertise on protected area and tourism management. The HKKH Partnership Project chose this time, not only to commemorate the date of the historic first ascent of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, but also to exhibit how tourism activities and local participation can positively aid conservation.
This visit has been strategically planned around Mt. Everest Day in order to demonstrate to the team from Central Karakoram National Park how tourism management and local participation can contribute to protected area management. Local events will be showcased, such as the Everest Marathon, the Sir Edmund Hillary Memorial Service and the Namche Youth Group Cultural Programme.
On May 29 in Namche, there will be two Official Handovers of HKKH Partnership Project Output Documents to community stakeholders and officials from the Sagarmatha National Park Buffer Zone. The first handover will take place during the Library inauguration (10:00 – 12:00 hrs) and the second handover will be to the Sagarmatha National Park Buffer Zone officials during the Sir Edmund Hillary Memorial Service (14:00-16:00hrs).
The newly created detailed land cover map of the Sagarmatha National Park and its buffer zone is among the many output materials being handed over. This is an extremely useful tool for management and decision-making at local level. The HKKH Partnership Project has adopted a multi-scale approach in land cover mapping in order to understanding linkages at different scales. Land cover maps provide knowledge about landscape patterns and their changes that are essential to assess human induced drivers and their impacts on the ecosystem.
The Central Karakoram National Park team of six experts is led by Deputy Secretary, Northern Areas Forest, Wildlife and Park Department of Gilgit and will be accompanied by a team of ten experts from the HKKH Partnership Project.
To complete the exchanges between the highest mountains of the world, from 10 to 18 June 2008 the HKKH Partnership Project has arranged for a team of six experts from the Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal to visit the Central Karakoram National Park in Pakistan.