Sagarmatha Next strives to promote sustainable tourism in the Khumbu region of Nepal, home of Mount Everest
Our aim is to change the perception around waste and provide support to the local stakeholders of the region, by bringing innovative and sustainable solutions for solid waste management.
Sagarmatha Next is the first project of Himalayan Museum and Sustainability Park (HSMP-a non profit distributing company) situated at Syangboche near Namche Bazar, en route to Everest Base camp. All profits generated will be reinvested in improving the waste management in the Khumbu region.
Being home to the world’s highest mountain, the Khumbu region receives an ever-growing flow of visitors from across the globe. While this has brought socio-economic development in the area, it has also put a lot of pressure on biodiversity and the region delicate ecosystem during the last few decades.
In 2019 alone, the Khumbu Valley received over 60,000 tourists which along with the local guides and staff of 20,000 and 7,000 indigenous sherpas and workers from other parts of Nepal resulted in the generation of about 790 kg of waste per day during the trekking seasons which added up to +200 tonnes of waste in the year 2019.
Even though continuous efforts have been taken by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) and various local stakeholders to collect and manage the waste, the challenge is still “what to do with the collected waste?”. At present most of it is left behind in numerous pits (+75) that are dug throughout the Khumbu Valley and Sagarmatha National Park, where most of the waste is simply burnt. The lack of infrastructure in the high regions and the difficulty to transport it out of the valley has required all of us to think about creative ways to manage the waste.
*Data in 2019, before the COVID-pandemic.