How to make eco-friendly expeditions? Here's what mountain guide says
ITAHARI, June 5: Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa is an internationally recognized mountain guide of Nepal. He was the Sherpa leader in the first measurement of Mt. Everest by Nepal. He has been to the summits of eight-thousanders 14 times and 13 times without the use of supplementary oxygen.
In the second week of April, this international mountain guide had journeyed to Mt. Makalu. However, he was not for scaling the mountain for this time around but for a cleanup campaign. The move named ' Mountain Cleaning Campaign 2021' was a project of Nepali Army.
Among the six mountains specified for this cleaning drive, Tshiring was deployed for Mt. Makalu (8463 meter), the fifth tallest peak in the world lies in Sankhuwasabha district.
“We started our journey on 14 April. Reached at Nun area, the walking point for Mt. Makalu arrived in Kathmandu on 29 May after collecting 6,607 kilograms of garbage,” said Tshiring.
''We handed over 1,725 kilograms of biodegradable garbage to the local government,'' he shared.
Tshiring was one of the 34 members of the Makalu cleanup campaign which included 10 Nepali Army personnel and 10 Sherpa supporters. The team collected garbage from the base camp and also from camp one, two and three, Tshiring informed RSS.
“A function was organized at Army Headquarters on the occasion of World Environment Day to hand over the non-biodegradable garbage collected from mountains to a recycling organization. I am so happy to be a part of this historic mountain cleanup campaign,” Tshiring added.
Having been a part of the mountain cleaning campaign and also as a resident of the mountain region, Tshiring has shared some ideas to clean the mountain and ensure sustainability of the mountaineering activities.
The first is running a cleanup campaign annually. Cleaning campaigns are necessary for mountains. Mountains are the natural magnet to lure foreigners to Nepal. They are also part of good revenues. “Nepal must not misuse this treasure. We must not let mountains be the dumping zone. We must preserve, promote and protect their natural standing, for this, an annual cleaning campaign is a great idea,” Tshiring shared his idea.
The second is promoting low and no garbage from every expedition. “Every expedition carries a huge amount of garbage. This must be stopped. The government must introduce strict rules to do so. Proper monitoring mechanism to track the garbage on all mountains should be in place,” according to Tshiring.
Huge fines must be levied on those who violated the rules and the fines amount can be utilized for the cleaning campaign, he suggested.
Promoting use of green energy instead of kerosene and other fossil fuels is imperative. He was of the view that the government should collaborate with green energy companies to ensure better options for green fuels at mountaineering activities.
Off-season cleaning to lower peaks of around 6000 meters as mountains taller than eight thousand meters cannot be cleaned in times other than in the spring season. However, smaller mountains ranging around 6000 meters can be cleaned in off-season time, he argued. There are hundreds of Sherpa and other human resources in the mountains to do so. This will give jobs to the experienced but jobless ones in this field as well as Nepal will earn its fame for the mountain cleanup drive, he observed.
He also suggested empowering local communities with technical skills and rewards as there are hundreds of thousands of mountain experts both on academic and practical fronts. “The local mountain communities are more familiar with these mountains. Their expertise generated after generations of mountain knowledge must be utilized,” Tshiring stated.
He also stressed the need for training the local people and they should be provided with knowledge on mountain cleanup.
In order to encourage locals for mountain cleanup, the government is expected to give moral and monetary rewards to the concerned community.