Improvement of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) Management System as Model for Mountain Ecosystems in Northern Pakistan

Three major mountain ranges, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush come together in northern Pakistan and are rich in biodiversity. These represent an ecosystem that is a lifeline for not only people living in mountainous areas, but millions of others who live downstream through majestic glacial bodies that are an important source of fresh water, and therefore deserve to be protected from existing and potential threats, both human-induced and natural. Effective approach worldwide in protecting and preserving ecosystems is through a network of protected areas.

Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP) has been the focus of the Pakistan-Italy Debt for Development Swap Agreement (PIDSA). After five years of research and field investigations, a management plan was developed, later followed by an operational plan. Subsequently, both documents received official approval from the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Government in 2015.

However, there is a further need to consolidate the operations of the CKNP, incorporating strategies to cope with emerging challenges such as growing pressures on natural resources by local communities and increasing climate variability. Findings and experiences from CKNP would be used as a model for other protected areas in Pakistan and elsewhere, particularly the Deosai National Park (DNP) with varying geo-physical properties, natural resources and pressures.  

Status:

Ongoing

Project start date:

April 2017

Estimated end date:

December 2021

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Pakistan

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Italian Ministry For Foreign Affairs
  • Amount contributed

    $3,742,765

    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2021 $268,789

    2019 $425,538

    2018 $766,599

    2017 $451,224

     

    Objectives

    The main aim of the project is to promote the governance of mountain ecosystems in northern Pakistan by improving ecological services, conserving nature, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, and developing an effective response to climate change. Specific objectives include:

    1. Governance: Management of Central Karakorum National Park, Deosai National Park and connectivity corridor between CKNP and DNP is improved, which includes enhancing functional capacities of relevant CKNP, DNP, Government departments and Project staff in the target areas to undertake the desired activities related to park management.
    2. Knowledge: A mechanism to share knowledge, lessons, experiences, and best practices in protected area management domestically and internationally has been established.
    3. Livelihoods: Sustainable livelihood options for local communities in the project area created, and their capacity for benefiting from these options is enhanced, with a view of mitigating the impacts of climate change on local communities in mountainous ecosystems.

    Main Achievements

    • Gaps were identified, and data collection initiated to revise and update the current Management Plans for CKNP and DNP.
    • Process initiated to develop refined zoning system and new Operational Plan for DNP in face of emerging challenges.
    •  Site identified, draft maps developed, and process initiated for developing Management Guidelines for Connectivity Corridor between CKNP and DNP.
    • Public events held at various forums to create mass awareness for importance of mountain ecosystems, capacity building plan developed for responsible staff of the protected areas.
    • A number of assessment studies were conducted to develop a comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Plan for mountain areas.
    • Local grazing system was studied, valley based Grazing Management Plans were developed in collaboration with local communities and Forest Department

     

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