At the towering height of 8,848 meters Mt. Everest - also known as Sagarmatha and Chomolungma - is a major attraction for trekkers and alpinists across the world. Travelers to the region are enchanted by the natural beauty of the pristine rivers, lakes and glaciers inside the Sagarmatha National Park. Approximately 46,000 trekkers visited the Everest region and around 700 mountaineers attempted to climb Mt. Everest in 2017 alone. These visitors bring valuable tourism dollars that help the economy of the Everest region and Nepal as a whole, providing sustainable livelihoods to many. However with the growing number of visitors, the region is also facing a growing environmental threat from the waste generated by tourism activities. Despite rigorous efforts from the rural municipalities and local conservation organisations, managing the large volume of waste in this remote Himalayan region remains a challenge.
The Everest Clean Up Campaign 2018
Since 2008, Yeti Airlines and it’s subsidiary Tara Air have been actively involved in assisting the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), a local environmental conservation organisation , and the Himalayan Club Lukla, remove non-burnable and non-biodegradable waste from the region to be recycled in Kathmandu. Most of this category of waste is comprised of empty beer bottles and cans, empty food tins, discarded mountaineering and trekking equipment.
This year the airlines, as a part of it’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) against Climate Change, has set an ambitious target of flying out 100 tons of waste from the Everest region with the support of it’s campaign partners. The waste will then be handed over to the recycling firm Blue Waste to Value for further treatment.
As a part of its ongoing partnership with UNDP Nepal, Yeti Airlines is working actively in reducing carbon footprint, promoting climate action [SDG 13] and conserving environment through reduction, recycling and management of wastes [SDG12].
The inaugural clean up flight has been officially flagged off from Lukla airport on March 17,
2018 by dignitaries from the UNDP and officials from the airlines and the campaign support partners.
Collection of waste in the Everest Region
The SPCC collects waste from the town of Namche Bazaar, the largest settlement in the Khumbu region, and the trekking trail villages of Pheriche, Pangboche, Phakding, Thame, Gokyo and Gorakshep. Burnable and biodegradable waste is disposed off at their incinerators at different locations in the region. For the clean up campaign the non-burnable and non- biodegradable waste will be brought down to Lukla airport.
Non-biodegradable Waste Collection Area Details
|5||Lukla Collection Site||10,000|
Everest Clean Up Campaign 2018 Partners
Yeti Airlines + Tara Air
Yeti Airlines started it’s first commercial flight in September 1998 with a single Canadian built DHC6-300 Twin Otter aircraft. Along with it’s sister brand Tara Air, it has now become Nepal’s largest domestic airline – serving the widest network in the country with it’s fleet of DHC6-300 and 400 Twin Otters, Dornier Do228, Jetstream 41 and ATR72-500 aircraft.
Yeti Airlines & Tara Air have been consistent in their active support for socially responsible activities in Nepal. With our Corporate Social Responsibility motto ‘Flying is not the only thing we do’ the airlines continues to provide support to numerous social organisations, tree planting campaigns and health camps. It has partnered with the UNDP for the promotion of the SDGs. In partnership with the UNDP, Yeti Airlines has formally committed to transform itself in to a carbon neutral airline. For more details please visit https://www.yetiairlines.com
Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC)
SPCC is a non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 1991 by the people of the Khumbhu area with the aim of managing waste in the Everest region within the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) and it’s buffer zones. SPCC works in direct co-ordination with the Ministry of Tourism, the SNP and Buffer Zone Management Committee, the Khumbhu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, various I/NGOs and local communities to develop and adopt sustainable waste management practices in the Everest region by building appropriate waste management infrastructure, setting up a system for waste segregation and disposal, strengthening community participation in waste management, dissemination of public education and finding opportunities for waste reduction, reuse and recycle. For more details please visit http://www.spcc.org.np
Himalaya Club Lukla
The Himalaya Club is a local NGO established by the people of Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region, to promote local community development in the area. For more details please visit http://www.himalayaclub.org
Blue Waste to Value (BW2V)
Blue Waste to Value, is a social enterprise dedicated to creating value from waste by promoting recycling and creating green jobs. For more details please visit http://bw2v.com
The UNDP in Nepal is committed to working with the people and Government of Nepal and other development partners to pursue equitable and sustainable development goals, while laying down strong foundations for a society based on the rule of law with an inclusive and participatory democracy. To learn more about the UNDP in Nepal and the SDGs, please visit http://www.np.undp.org
We would also like to thank all others who have supported us in the Everest Clean Up Campaign 2018.