Campaign Launched to Clean Up Mount Everest
Majestic Mount Everest has been a top attraction in Nepal for decades, with adventurers traveling from around the world to attempt to make their way to the summit. Many have succeeded, some have failed, but all have unforgettable memories of their experiences. Mount Everest is considered to be such an important natural treasure that it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But sadly, not all of Mount Everest’s visitors have shown respect for its grandeur, and the environment has become polluted by litter, prompting a team of concerned environmentalists to launch the “Save Mount Everest Campaign” in an effort to resolve this growing problem.
The project is expected to cost in the region of $780,000, with a team of national and international participants focusing on cleaning up the current litter problem, as well as setting up waste management and recycling projects. With the support of the Nepalese government, the plan aims to make institutional changes by offering training to maintain and administer the project on an ongoing basis. Moreover, the government has made known its intention to put stringent new environmental regulations into place for trekkers and climbers, thereby reinforcing the efforts of the “Save Mount Everest Campaign”. The campaign is also receiving the support of the Nepal Tourism Board, the Everest Summiteers Association (ESA) and other international agencies.
Goals of the campaign include removing eight tons of garbage from Mount Everest, as well as along the popular Lukla route, and the Everest Base Camp. To assist local communities cope with the growing number of climbers in the area, the project aims to build fifteen waste management facilities. Up to one hundred workers living in the Khumbu region will be trained to operate these facilities.
The garbage tax imposed on climbers and trekkers by Nepalese authorities in 1992 failed to stop the problem, with the mountainside being littered with tins, food, oxygen cylinders, gas cartridges, medicine, plastic and human waste. The annual Eco Everest Expedition has been bringing garbage down the mountain since 2008, thereby raising awareness of the problem, but the aim is to make visitors responsible for cleaning up after themselves by making waste disposal facilities available. It is really up to everyone who visits this magnificent part of Nepal to ensure that they leave it in the pristine state they would like to find it.