HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Apa Sherpa and his team members, who are on the 1,700-km long Great Himalaya Trail resumed their trek from Khandbari yesterday.
The team comprising Apa Sherpa, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Saurav Dhakal and Samir Jung Thapa were welcomed in a traditional manner by a score of people, including senior government officials, Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Nepal Federation of Journalists, representatives of different political parties and the civil society.
“It is important to develop roads but let us make sure that we do not destroy the traditional trekking trails,” said Apa Sherpa on the occasion.
The team has already walked 242-km in the last 17 days. They began their historic trek on the Great Himalaya Trail from Ghunsa — the eastern most destination of the trek — to pay respect to the conservation pioneers who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter accident back in 2006.
“The impacts of climate change can be clearly seen along the trail,” according to another team member Dawa Steven Sherpa. “It is reducing agricultural productivity and causing massive landslides threatening existing trails that are already fragile,” he added.
The Climate Smart Celebrity Trek on the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) began on January 15 and will be completed in early May when the team reaches Darchula in Far-western Nepal.
The team is carrying the Nepali flag handed over by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav during a public function in Kathmandu before their departure. The trek has been organised to highlight the impact of climate change in the Himalayas and to promote the Great Himalaya Trail as the best trekking trail in the world — offering trekkers the possibility to experience extremely rich cultures, breathtaking landscapes and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
GHT-CSCT is being organised by the Himalayan Climate Initiative with support from the government. It is also being supported by DFID, British Council, SNV, NTB and TAAN.
Supported by corporate partners like Geo-Eye, Asian Trekking, North Face and Dell, the GHT trek will help develop tourism and provide employment as well as education which in turn will help improve the lives of people in some of the remotest regions in the world.
The Great Himalaya Trail Development Progamme will work towards harnessing tourism with a market-led approach to improve livelihood and bring sustainable
to remote and poor communities through the creation of
an iconic and globally significant new tourism product
The GHT is a network of existing paths and trade routes spanning the length of the country from Darchula and Humla in the West to Kanchenjunga in the East, packaged and promoted as one of the world’s great walks.
In the long run, GHT has
the potential to traverse the length of the Himalayan Range stretching through impoverished mountain areas
of Nepal, Pakistan, India and Bhutan.