Nepal may relocate Everest base camp

(CNN) – Nepal is considering relocating Everest base camp due to environmental concerns.

According to Nepal’s director general of tourism, Taranat Adhikari, the location of the base camp faces some risk of melting the nearby Khumbu Glacier.

“We have received recommendations from many stakeholders to relocate the base camp. Although no decisions have been made yet, we take these proposals very seriously,” Adhikari told CNN Travel.

These stakeholders include locals, mountaineers and environmental experts.

However, all major changes in Everestthe highest peak in the world will not be made hastily.

Since research activities can only take place in the spring, it may take 2-3 years to make a decision. Some research has been conducted this year on the spring climbing season, which usually peaks in May.

Once the participating countries have completed their study, they will probably have to submit a proposal to the Nepalese government. Nepal’s cabinet will have the final say on the decision.

Adhikari cites “anthropogenic activities” – otherwise known as human behavior – and climate change as problems affecting the base camp. The Khumbu Glacier is melting at a speed faster than natural speed.

A joint study by China and Nepal has led to a new, higher elevation for the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.

This is not the first time that affected countries have warned of environmental damage on Mount Everest.

A study in the Nature Portfolio Journal of Climate and Atmospheric Science, published earlier this year, found that ice formed over a 2,000-year period on the South Col Glacier. melted in about 25 years.

Paul Mayewski, head of the expedition and director of the Institute for Climate Change at the University of Maine, told CNN that the findings showed “a complete change from what has been experienced in this area, probably throughout the period of occupation by people in the mountains. . “

Climate change is affecting many of the world’s most valuable places.

“Nepal alone cannot reduce carbon emissions and the impact of global warming.” said Adhikari. “However, we can mitigate some things by taking this kind of temporary measure.

He added: “On the one hand, we want to preserve the mountain and the glacier. On the other hand, we do not want to affect the mountain economy.”

Balancing the desire to climb Everest with the needs of local communities is a continuing challenge in Nepal.

Tourism is the country the fourth largest industryin which 11.5% of Nepalese work in some form, whether it means working in a hotel or a guest house or directing foreign tourists to the highest mountains in the world.

Permits to climb Everest cost $ 11,000 per person. Some of this money is intended for communities near the mountain.

Allowing too many climbers to climb within the short time allowed by the weather can lead to “congestion“which often have deadly results.

Everest Base Camp is 5,400 meters (17,700 feet) above sea level.

The proposed location for a new base camp could be 200-300 meters (656-984 feet) below current altitude.

Photo above: Camping tents at Everest Base Camp. Credit: TASHI LAKPA SHERPA / AFP / Getty Images

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