7 FROM HIMALAYA TO KARAKORAM: THE SPREADING OF THE PROJECT EV-K2-CNR

0
611

The Pyramid International Laboratory-Observatory is the symbol of the Ev-K2-CNR Project. The project actually began in 1987, when Prof. Ardito Desio, 90 years old at the time, enthusiastically launched a new geological and geodetic research campaign in the Himalayan area. However, it was only with the building of the Pyramid International Laboratory-Observatory, inaugurated by Prof. Desio himself in 1990, that the project acquired a unique “logistic base” for its scientific research. The laboratory, located at 5050 m a.s.l. in the Khumbu Valley, on the Nepali side of Mount Everest, is in fact the first high-altitude scientific research center of its kind. It is self-sufficient in its energy supply and contains all common scientific instrumentation, making it a suitable place for studying climatic and environmental changes, medicine and human physiology in extreme conditions, geology, geodesy and seismic phenomena. Over time, a wealth of knowledge, initiatives and international relationships have been accumulated and continue to be added to by Ev-K2-CNR through research in the fields of medicine and physiology; environmental sciences, earth sciences, anthropological sciences and clean technologies. The Ev-K2-CNR Committee has been able to play a strategic role in the framework of collaboration amongst institutions, governments and organizations for the exchange and transfer of experiences, technologies and scientific and cultural knowledge. The increasingly interdisciplinary approach to research by the team has also led to the development of integrated programs for promoting the socio-economic development of local populations and environmental safeguarding in the region, such as the international Partnership initiative created through the Italian government around Ev-K2-CNR’s expertise, or the regional Ev-K2-CNR Project “Stations at High Altitude for Research on the Environment in Asia” (SHARE-Asia), aimed at the establishment of a network of research and monitoring stations for the long-term study of evolutionary environmental processes in the Himalayan–Karakoram region, with a strong technology transfer and capacity-building component to the benefit of local populations and research institutions.