1. Mountain Cleaning Campaign 2021, a Government of Nepal initiative, led by the Nepali Army was formally concluded by Maj Gen Gokul Bhandari amidst a function at the Army HQ premise today. The program coincides with the World Environment Day. With the slogan of ‘Save the Himalayas for Future’, the Campaign begun back in 13 April 2021 with the Chief of Army Staff Gen Purna Chandra Thapa handing over banners to the team leaders.
2. The primary aim of the campaign was to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and also assist in minimizing its’ effects on the Himalayas. It involved cleaning six different mountains including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Pumori and Ama Dablam. A total of 27 tons and 671 kgs of garbage had been collected from the entire campaign, among which 2,505 kg were bio degradable and 25,166 were non bio degradable, which were handed over to the local bodies / committee and recycling agencies. Furthermore, a total of four bodies were recovered, two around Dhaulagiri Base Camp and two at Camp 4 (8,000 m) of Mount Everest, and were handed over to the concerned authorities for the lawful management.
3. During the concluding ceremony, Brig Gen Himanshu Khadka highly appreciated and congratulated the participants who were directly or indirectly involved in the campaign for meeting the target within the time plan despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and two cyclones (Tauktae and Yass). He also expressed his gratitude to partners of the campaign for their unwavering support.
4. The campaign leaders also handed back the banner to the Chief guest Maj Gen Bhandari as a symbol of the completion of the campaign. Dhananjaya Poudel, Chief of Planning and Monitoring Division of Ministry of Forestry and Environment, congratulated all those involved in the campaign for the successful completion of the challenging task. The Video messages sent by Country Director of The Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Aadarsha Awasthi and Managing Director of Unilever Nepal Ltd., Mr. Amlan Mukharjee, on behalf of all the supporting organizations, were also played during the ceremony. Because of the pandemic only limited personnel physically participated in the campaign while many partners of the campaign participated virtually.
5. The Chief Guest of the program, Major General Bhandari, presented certificate of appreciation to the supporting partners, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Himalayan Rescue Association, Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, Annapurna Conservation Area Project, Expedition Operators Associations, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever Nepal Ltd, ICIMOD, WWF Nepal, Polymet SA Pte Ltd. , The Nepal Distilleries, PlastNepal Foundation, Yeti Airlines, Himalayan Climate Initiative, Avni Center for Sustainability, Avni Ventures and Service Provider Peak Promotion Company. He also handed over two sacks of the garbage symbolically to the recycling agency Avni Venture for Sustainability. He also felicitated three Nepali Army personnel and two Sherpa associates, for successfully climbing the Ama Dablam during the cleaning process. During his concluding remark he mentioned that this campaign was instrumental in spreading awareness about the adverse effects of pollution in the mountainous areas and its effects on the global environment.
6. Nepali Army is confident that this campaign will serve as an example of the multi agency effort required to raising awareness about the impacts of global change and also of the urgent need of taking timely action to keep our Himalayas clean which will definitely have a positive impact on tourism in Nepal.