Great Himalaya Trail projected as a climate frontier in the Himalayas

Posted: Mar 21, 2012 04:38 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) Apa Sherpa, who has summited Everest 21 times, and a trekking team are currently walking the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) to primarily highlight the impacts of climate change in the Himalayas and to promote GHT as the best tourism trail in the world.

The team has been trekking for two months now and sent over the following news about a press conference held in Beni, during a stop-over on the trail:

On the sixty-fifth day of Climate Smart Celebrity Trek, Apa Sherpa and his team reached and interacted with the local people and the media in Beni. He and his team were welcomed and felicitated by the local villagers in a press meet organized in the Red Cross Office of Beni.

The Chief Guest of the event was Honorable Minister for the Ministry of Environment Mr. Hem Raj Tater. Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel, Executive Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Environment was also present during the occasion.

Minister of Environment

Speaking at the occasion, Honorable Minister of Environment said, the area of mountain region above the trail should be announced as an area of special environmental interest from climate change angle.

He focused on the need to increase the scale of use of alternative energy such as solar, micro-hydro, biogas and use of improved cooking stoves as technology to mitigate climate change. He also assured that he would take necessary steps to address all issues raised by Apa and his team from their experience.

The areas above GHT are truly the Frontiers of Climate Battle in the Himalayas. By managing climate related challenges in those areas, Nepal can not only support its own people, but also help a large part of South Asia, including India and Bangladesh. Speakers on the occasion highlighted the significance of such an initiative.

Glacial lakes and alternative energy

Speaking on the occasion, Apa Sherpa said, “Glacial lakes have formed above Siklish at the height of 2500 meter. He requested ACAP to take locals view into consideration while making polices that are impacting day to day life of the Annapurna Conservation areas.

Dawa Steven Sherpa, the member of Climate Change Council of Government of Nepal said home stay tourism and alternative energy be up scaled in the climate vulnerable regions. He requested NAPA to incorporate the issue of tourism as climate adaptive tool in their upcoming reports and studies. He also stated that the Ministry of Tourism participates in the Climate Change Council of Government of Nepal.

Prashant Singh, the event lead of GHT-CSCT and the CEO of Himalayan Climate Initiative said, “We need a cooperative strategy to help the mountainous committee to adapt to climate change. He challenged the international community to rally around the adaptive measures to help this mountainous country cope with impacts of climate change.

Apa Sherpa and his team are walking on this trail to primarily highlight the impacts of climate change in the Himalayas and to promote The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) as the best tourism trail in the world. The GHT ranges from Darchula in Far West and ends in Taplejung, in far-eastern Nepal and thereby offers trekkers to experience extremely rich cultures, breathtaking landscapes and diverse range of flora and fauna.

Back in 2009, on his 19th accent to Mt. Everest, Apa had given a clarion call to the world, ‘STOP CLIMATE CHANGE, LET THE HIMALAYAS LIVE’. His current effort to walk the entire length of the Himalayas within Nepal is to bring out the problems faced by the Himalayan communities into national and international debate in order to provide relief to them. During this historic trek that is endorsed by the Prime Minister of Nepal and flagged off by the President of Nepal, he will visit hundreds of villages meeting thousands of people.

GHT-CSCT is organized by Himalayan Climate Initiative in coordination with Government of Nepal, particularly Office of the Prime Minister, The Ministry of Environment, and The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA), with the support of DFID-UK Aid, British Council, SNV (Netherlands Development Organization), NTB, TAAN.

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Apa Sherpa looking down on Tsho Rolpa glacial lake , “one of the biggest glacial lakes in the Himalayas and one critically in danger of bursting out into a flood.”
courtesy GHT-CSCT / Asian Trekking
Trek from Ghale Kharka to Luwang.
courtesy GHT-CSCT / Asian Trekking
Camping at Tashi Phuk, 5600m
courtesy GHT-CSCT / Asian Trekking
Press conference in Beni on the GHT.
courtesy GHT-CSCT / Asian Trekking
Route map. Apa and his Climate Smart Trek team have reached Beni on Day 65 of the trek, crossing 936 km since the start.
courtesy GHT-CSCT / Asian Trekking, SOURCE