March 18, 2023: The Nepali army has announced the “Clean Himalaya Campaign 2023” to be conducted in the four corners of the Himalayas, including the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. The campaign aims to collect 35,000 kilograms of waste from Mount Sagarmatha(Everest), Lhotse, Barunche, and Annapurna, whether it is decomposable or non-decomposable.
According to the spokesperson of the army, Krishna Prasad Bhandari, the campaign aims to collect 10,000 kilograms of waste from Mount Everest, 5,000 from Lhotse, 10,000 from Barunche, and 10 kilograms from Annapurna, in a phased manner.
The government has prioritized the national program for maintaining the cleanliness of the world’s foremost Himalayas in order to protect nature and the environment. Since 2019, the army has been conducting the “Clean Himalaya Campaign” to raise awareness of the adverse effects on the global environment and to preserve the magnificent beauty of the mountain range.
In 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest, and it is estimated that around 14,000 tons of garbage and over 300 dead bodies remain on the mountain. In order to keep the cleanliness of Mount Everest a priority for the government, the army has been conducting the “Clean Himalaya Campaign” since 2019 in coordination and cooperation with various government and non-governmental organizations to keep the mountain clean and preserve its breathtaking beauty.
An initiative has been launched with the goal of reducing the impact of pollution control and climate change on the environment while promoting economic growth in mountainous regions. The campaign aims to attract tourists and mountaineers, while also making a significant contribution to the conservation of the Himalayas for future generations. Thirteen soldiers, including prominent leaders who climbed Mount Everest and Lhotse, nine soldiers who climbed Baruntse, ten soldiers with support staff in Annapurna, and other Sherpa helpers are involved in the campaign. According to the military, the campaign will continue from April 14 to June 22.
Prior to 2019, 10,800 kilograms of garbage and four human corpses were removed from Mount Everest and surrounding areas. In 2021, 27,071 kilograms of garbage were collected from Mount Everest, Lhotse, Pumori, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, and Ama Dablam.
According to the Nepalese Army, in 2022, Mount Everest, Lhotse, Manaslu, and Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas were climbed by 7,157 people and not climbed by 33,877 people, with two human skeletons collected along with a total of 9,773 kilograms of garbage. Under the leadership of the military, the tourism and environment department, Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality, Sagarmatha National Park Administration Office, Himalayan Rescue Association, Expedition Operator Association, Tourism Board, Nepal Mountaineering Association, and Trekking Association of Nepal will participate in the campaign.
The attraction of last year’s Himalayan climbing has posed a challenge to maintaining the beauty and purity of the Himalayas due to pollution in the Himalayan region. To address this issue, the military has taken the initiative to prioritize the “Clean Himalayas Campaign” to support nature and environmental conservation.