Everest Alliance discussions, May 2014

Discussions with the SPCC

The following is the complete collection of comments as presented to John Harlin and Nima Wangchu Sherpa during their May 2014 trip to Khumbu. The principle goal for the trip was to determine whether a new organization, potentially called the “Everest Alliance,” would be useful and if so, what it might do. Please click here to read the introductory notes explaining the May 2014 trip and its goals. That page also includes an abbreviated selection of comments. Please send your personal insights, correction of facts, or new things to consider by clicking here, where your letter will reach John Harlin directly and be used in a future document. Please include your name, contact, and personal connection to the Everest region. Your privacy will be respected as it is for those listed below (or your name entirely withheld upon request).

Is an “Everest Alliance” needed?

The EA concept is very good. There is a strong need for it at this moment. Everybody wants to do something about the problems. There are many different ideas that need a forum for communal discussion and action.

There are many positive things here. People would be happy to spearhead good projects.

The environmental and social issues in Khumbu have already been clearly identified. The problem is that nobody takes responsibility to address these issues.

There is a leadership problem in Khumbu. No one wants to be a “hard” leader.

Khumbu’s main needs are funding, sharing knowledge between stakeholders, and increased local participation. These are things that an EA could help with.

There will be big changes when the road comes to Lukla (or wherever it stops). The EA could focus primarily on getting the Khumbu into the best possible shape in preparation for the pressures to come when the road goes in.

Stakeholders can be split into separate levels: local, national, and international. It’s up to the locals to create and run something like an Everest Alliance--or not. If they do, then INGOs can support them.

The concept for an Everest Alliance is good, but you’d have to talk with all the different organizations. The EA needs to be grassroots, coming ground-up from the communities.

The crux is to identify the structures of local actors. The Everest Alliance should embed people into villages for a year in order to learn what locals really want.

Each organization that works in Khumbu should have a strong discussion within their organization, then authorize a representative to attend a forum/conference that would officially launch the Everest Alliance.

The EA can grow slowly. Each organization that feels the EA is useful should take it a little bit ahead, step by step.

The value of an EA might be to lobby the ministry of tourism in Kathmandu for actual funding from the fees that are already being collected.

The Village Development Council (VDC) can already handle everything locally, reducing the need for an EA.

There has never been an incidence when all the people of Khumbu came together to do an action.

Would creating a new civil organization step on too many toes? Are others already doing this?

The Everest Alliance could be like the old Mountain Forum—i.e., a place for discussing ideas and networking.

Facebook is currently providing the platform for sharing and coordinating among Khumbu residents. Perhaps this is sufficient and a new alliance is not needed.

The Sagarmatha Tourism Coordination Forum (STCF), which meets annually in Namche, is very similar to the Everest Alliance.

The Everest Alliance should be brought up at the 7th Sagarmatha Tourism Forum. This is the best platform because everyone will show up.

Instead of creating a new entity called the Everest Alliance, maybe the STCF should change its name. By changing its name to the Everest Alliance, the STCF could capitalize on the marketing power of Everest and other new ideas proposed by the EA without starting yet another new organization.

The STCF is an annual stand-alone event with no follow-up. The EA could provide the ongoing forum to keep the conversations going.

Having an EA would have been helpful with the April avalanche incident.

The government of Nepal won’t listen to typical Khumbu residents. Government officials only listen to people who have high status. The EA might give a stronger voice to locals by enlisting higher-level actors.

The Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities (based on the Great Himalayan Trail) provides a strong voice for previously voiceless mountain people. It unites them across the Himalaya. It took years to get this organization registered with the government of Nepal.

Potential management structures:

The Everest Alliance could be run as an association something like the “Association of International NGOs in Nepal.” This would only require maybe three people as a secretariat, while committees would deal with all the actual issues. It would simply need a TOR (Terms of Reference) for the informal alliance. Management could rotate between existing NGOs. It could be a pilot project and be very cheap to operate.

A potential model for the EA is Nepal’s new Expedition Operator’s Association.

Most meetings of Khumbu people are actually held in Kathmandu in winter. This is easier and cheaper to participate in.

The EA needs a government mandate. This would make it much easier to operate.

Social changes in Khumbu:

There are more and more hotels in Khumbu. Most are being built by Sherpas and then leased to others from outside the Khumbu.

In 10-20 years there may be no Sherpas living in Khumbu—they will all have moved to Kathmandu or abroad.

Well-known Sherpas who live abroad should leverage their fame to support the people of their homeland.

There is often resentment by local residents against Sherpas who move to the US. Many locals view them as outsiders who don’t give back to the community they came from.

Locals often don’t recognize the good things that Sherpas who have moved away are actually doing for the Khumbu. Perhaps it’s jealousy.

Comments about groups currently working in Khumbu (NGOs, etc):

NGOs have been very important for the people of Khumbu. Without the Himalayan Trust locals would have nothing. People are very thankful to the Himalayan Trust. The Khumbu Bizuli Company/EcoHimal was the next big thing. EcoHimal researched local customs and learned that traditionally the youngest son stays home to look after the family, so EcoHimal trained the youngest sons knowing that they wouldn’t leave.

There are many small NGOs operating in Khumbu, but most are fixated on their own set of issues, not on the big picture. 

About two years ago people were talking about starting a “Khumbu Alliance.” There are so many groups coming and going. The Alliance would filter who’s doing what, who’s productive and who’s not. There needs to be an organization to establish if NGOs are actually doing good. For example, people were objecting to ICIMOD and the WWF. Locals felt they weren’t benefitting from ICIMOD and WWF’s efforts.

ICIMOD is currently disconnected from the people of Nepal. ICIMOD has provided the Himalayan Climate Alliance with funding to help set it up. The Himalayan Climate Alliance aims to be a link between ICIMOD and the locals.

There needs to be a shift to a “rights-based” approach to working in Khumbu. For example, we have a right to education and to health care. If anyone works in Khumbu, it must be according to the rights-based needs of the locals.

There was only one Ed Hillary. He did more than anyone to help the people and environment of Khumbu. Nepali leaders haven’t been effective.

Locally operating foreign companies feel really good about supporting worthy projects in Khumbu. They see it as supporting the local community. In turn, locals are more welcoming of the foreign projects.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association’s problem is that in 36 years they’ve never been able to lead or run a project.

The TIMS program (Tourism Information Management System) specifies that a percentage of trekking fees should be used for local development. The money is equally distributed to each district and VDC. However, a lack education and knowledge combined with difficult procedures mean that the money often is not used.

Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC):

The SPCC is the most effective NGO in Khumbu.

The environmental focus of anyone in Khumbu should be on working with and supporting the SPCC.

Government money for the SPCC has dried up. The government says that up to 30% of mountain royalties are shared with the local community, but this money goes to Salleri, the district headquarters for Solu-Khumbu. The SPCC has to lobby for any money for the higher regions even though the national government says the funds are supposed to be for the mountains and the SPCC.

The SPCC gets almost no support from the government. They rely completely on income from the Icefall Doctors. The “Doctors” establish and maintain the ladders through the Khumbu Icefall and charge a fee to Everest climbers. This fee funds the SPCC’s work throughout Khumbu.

Some at the SPCC would like to share the responsibility for route selection through the Khumbu Icefall between all parties. There’s lots of expertise at Everest Base Camp—many of the world’s experts on snow and ice. They should all decide on the route line together. That way people can’t blame the SPCC for the route choice.

The SPCC Icefall Doctors need to be better trained. Instead of trying to share responsibility for the Icefall route with others, the SPCC should take responsibility for themselves, but be trained to make good decisions.

Perhaps the SPCC’s rope-fixing responsibility should be extended all the way to the summit of Everest. They could also be given the rope-fixing responsibility for Ama Dablam. This would earn them more income.

Regarding suggestions that the Icefall Doctors fix to the summit of Everest (and not just the Icefall), the SPCC is concerned about appearing to try to take work from guide services. The SPCC does not want to upset the guide services, so they haven’t pushed for this idea. Also, clients might not trust the SPCC enough. Perhaps its better to have the guides fixing the ropes to the summit.

The SPCC is responsible for cleaning, that’s their mission, not climbing. They need to stick to their mission.

The SPCC needs more support, both money and training.

The SPCC has 20 field staff. It works with about 25 village-level waste management groups.

The SPCC needs a spokesperson to communicate directly with trekkers and climbers.

Khumbu Alpine Conservation Committee (KACC):

Current projects the KACC is involved with include:

  • solar project in Dingboche
  • restarting the plant nursery in Shomare
  • tree plantation in Pangboche
  • (past projects can be viewed here)

Buffer Zone:

The Buffer Zone is a voice for local people. A member of the Buffer Zone committee can talk with the national park administration.

The Buffer Zone (BZ) has fixed splits for conservation, development, and cultural heritage. It must allocate money by these categories:

  • Conservation program: 30%
  • Community development: 30%
  • Skill development/income generation: 20%
  • Conservation education: 10%

Himalayan Rescue Association in Pheriche:

Miscellaneous information provided by two Dutch volunteer doctors in May 2014: HRA Pheriche operates with two foreign doctors volunteering for the season, plus two Nepali staff. The Pheriche clinic sees 500-600 patients per year: 60% Nepali and 40% trekkers. Between the two seasons there is no staff in Khumbu except Dr. Kami in Khunde. Most trauma injuries are from yaks pushing people into walls and/or gouging people with their horns. There are 20-30 helicopter evacuations per year, mostly for HAPE. HRA also has a clinic on the Annapurna trail in Manang and one at Everest Base Camp.

Khumbu Masterplanning:

The Khumbu Masterplanning process started in 2013 and is being developed by a team of 15 board members who meet in Kathmandu. The issues they are focusing on include:

  • Telecommunications (Namche has good enough phone and internet, but the rest of Khumbu has been forgotten by the government)
  • Water resources and pollution
  • Deforestation
  • Streets
  • Schools

Khumbu Masterplanning aims to build a master plan of conservation and development for the Khumbu, starting in Khumjung.

Khumbu Masterplanning intends to help solve problems for the long term, including:

  • electrical capacity is overloaded
  • drinking water sources are polluted and poorly distributed
  • monasteries and archaeological sites are in disrepair
  • deforestation—the nawa culture of forest protection is being lost
  • streets (trails through villages) are being overtaken by houses
  • land distribution is poorly managed
  • natural beauty of the landscape is being lost
  • highly educated youth is migrating out of Khumbu forever
  • educated Khumbu people are taking up permanent residence in Kathmandu and even migrating to the US and other countries
  • the uneducated young generation depends on work in tourism
  • traditional agricultural practices are being lost
  • NGOs and INGOs are fixated on glaciers and global warming issues; their high-level publications are not useful to the local community
  • For almost 50 years the Khunde hospital (and the Phortse, Debouche, Thame, and Monjo health clinics) have been supported by the Himalayan Trust.  There is almost no government presence in the health sector. What will happen if the Himalayan Trust stops supporting local health needs?

Government of Nepal:

Khumbu needs outside help with funding largely because the government hasn’t shared enough trekking and climbing royalties with the Buffer Zone. The government has not improved anything.

Few government officials ever visit the Upper Khumbu—the only thing they care about is the mountaineering revenue.

Khumbu is left behind in government funding.

Nothing has been made possible by the government.

Government-run things are always rundown.

The value of an EA might be to lobby the ministry of tourism in Kathmandu for actual funding from the fees that are collected.

Issues that need to be addressed:

We already know what people want: they want telecommunications, hospitals, and energy. We don’t need to ask them anymore. We need to give them what they need.

There has been enough research and planning. It’s now time to take action.

The highest priorities are: 1) resources and 2) expertise.

There are lots of NGOs operating in the Khumbu, but are they sustainable? The Alliance can focus on solving problems permanently.

The Khumbu’s economic base needs to be built up so Sherpas don’t feel the need to leave. Retaining more Sherpas would require better Internet access, electricity, schools, and the road to Lukla.

The Khumbu is overbuilt with lodges. Everyone is putting their money into building lodges, investing blindly and leading to too much growth. Sherpas are leasing these lodges out to others to manage.

There needs to be umbrella insurance for porters and local guides.

Outside financial support is critical. What takes 10 years without support might be accomplished in 2 years with support.

Electricity has dramatically changed lives in Khumbu. The most important thing is to bring even more hydropower to Khumbu. Small local hydropower plants are the way to go. Most villages still have little hydropower.

Hydropower has saved lots of trees in Khumbu.

Many people are concerned that helicopter vibrations are damaging the Khumbu Icefall’s seracs.

Locals don’t like all the helicopters flying through Khumbu. They have told SNP that they want to stop all helis except for rescues.

Every village has its own unique problems.

The Khumbu Alpine Conservation Council (KACC) wants financing for:

  • trails
  • water project
  • viewpoint at Kala Pathar
  • dams for water control
  • nawas (forest guards—being a guard used to be a voluntary position, but now it’s paid)

Reforesting (plantations) are very important to the Khumbu. These projects don’t have to go through the park; they can go through the Buffer Zone.

There are approximately 35,000+ tourists each year, but including porters the annual visitation is over 50,000 people. By contrast, the population of resident locals is about 5,000.

Education:

Not everyone sees the shortage of schools as a common problem, but the EA could champion education.

A small school was recently built in Namche, but it needs a new, bigger school. (Currently 160 students and 8 teachers).

The Khumjung Secondary School enrolls 300 kids from nursery to grade 10.

It has 20 teachers.

Namche kids walk about an hour up and down to the Khumjung School. Grade 10 kids can stay in the hostel (dorms), as can younger kids from further away.

The Khumjung School already works with some retired teachers, but would welcome more. Older teachers are better for this than young ones.

The Khumjung School currently teaches all subjects in the English language starting at grade 9. Soon they will use English for all levels of classes starting at grade 1. They need teachers who can do this. The school doesn’t teach any other languages yet.

Only poor students stay here in Khumbu rather than schooling in Kathmandu. Thus Khumbu kids are at a disadvantage not knowing English well enough. The switch to all-English instruction will help them get into universities. Kathmandu universities are conducted in English.

The Himalayan Trust is the Khumjung School’s major donor. They provide teaching materials, some of the salaries, and buildings. A few buildings are sponsored by other donors.

The Khumjung School is very interested in establishing sister-school relationships. They had one with a Japanese school, but now there are no students at the Japanese school and so there’s currently no sister-school relationship. They would also like to participate in more international efforts, such as the GLOBE Program for science.

A Montessori-style school was recently launched in Khumjung, funded by the Himalayan Trust. It’s needed because village schools only accept kids after 6 years of age, which leads busy working parents to send their kids to school in Kathmandu. This is increasing year to year. The Montessori-style schools should help retain kids in Khumbu. HT is currently funding one teacher at the new school in Khumjung. The 20-year plan is to bring these schools to other villages.

Local people blindly support monasteries, but not schools.

Health:

The Khunde Hospital has plenty of qualified healthcare workers at the mid-level. This improvement came over the last 10 years. But it’s hard to find suitable doctors and hard to retain new young doctors.

The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada is sponsoring students to become doctors and requires them to come back to Khumbu. This means that in a few years the Khunde Hospital should have enough doctors who are also locals. At that time all human resources will be from locals. It’s very hard for foreigners to get work permits.

The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation has been funding the Khunde Hospital for the last 35 years.

There’s also a health post in Pangboche.  A health post was going to be established in Dingboche but it fell through due to government registration problems about 6 months ago (late 2013). All the building materials were already in Dingboche, but government permission failed.

Waste management (garbage):

EcoHimal’s “Saving Mount Everest” campaign had two phases: 1) Cleaning up Everest and 2) workshops on waste management. Both phases were accompanied by numerous exhibitions and press conferences. Raising awareness was one of the primary goals.

An INGO drafted a long-term waste management plan for the government. But at 110 pages, the plan was too thick and nobody reads it. The 25-page summary was translated into Nepali. The plan was intended for the SPCC, but there’s never been a workshop to present it to them. Unfortunately, government ministries keep changing.

The Ama Dablam basecamp has lots of garbage that needs to be cleaned up. Everest Base Camp is now relatively clean, but Ama Dablam is not.

Khumbu now has numerous solid waste containers alongside trails, as well as a waste storage house and an incinerator in Namche.

The intention was for the SPCC to establish about 90 waste containers along the trails. 60 were funded, but only 40 were finished. What about the rest?

The SPCC collects waste from trailside bins twice a week and brings it to recycling and incineration centers in Namche.

After the waste containers were installed alongside trails, even porters have become concerned about litter. It’s now time to start segregating waste at the lodges.

In Namche there are training campaigns and recycling efforts for aluminum and waste paper. They are looking for a recycling machine of some sort because it’s all done by hand.

Aluminum cans are converted into souvenirs. The aluminum is melted with a propane torch, then cast into ingots, which is an energy inefficient process.

The Namche incinerator is powered by diesel and electricity. It is very expensive to operate and is too technological. The incinerator was provided by EvK2CNR and has been funded for 3 years, with only one year remaining.

It would be very useful to be able to convert paper waste into paper briquettes for stoves in homes and lodges. These briquettes would probably be 30% paper, the rest wood and dung.

Mineral-water bottles are a big problem now. Incinerating is not good because the plastic burns to ash. There is a machine that reduces PET plastic to pellets, but it’s very expensive and what can you do with the pellets?

10 factories are currently making bottled mineral water in Khumbu. They are resistant to anti-plastic regulations.

We need enforcement of rules covering garbage and other environmental impacts. People who do bad things need to be punished.

The SPCC instigated the new policy requiring all Everest climbers (including guides and porters) to carry down 8 kg of garbage per person. In five or so years the mountain will be clean. It’s already clean in the lower sections.

Water quality and supply in Khumbu:

Namche built a sewage system three to four years ago. The water had been polluted but is much better now. All houses in Namche are connected. Now even toilet paper is okay. The treatment plant is 500 meters below town.

Toilets are a big problem in the rest of Khumbu. All lodges above 14,000 feet need to change from old to modern toilets for sewage management.

There is water contamination in the villages, but right now there is nobody looking after drinking water quality in Khumbu.

The SPCC wants a water-testing lab, but the promised funding didn’t come through. The lab was handed over to the Khunde Hospital. Water can be tested here, but there aren’t the resources to look after other supplies.

There is no manpower for the Khunde Hospital to assist beyond the Khunde/Khumjung area. So, for example, they can’t deal with Lobuche’s contaminated water.

There are no permanent water supplies near to Namche and Khunde/Khumjung, which is why they’re laying pipes to a permanent glacial stream 5-6 hours hike away.

The local spring dries up in spring and autumn, partly because there’s less snow now than there used to be. A few decades ago the winter snow in Khumjung was knee deep; now it’s only 2 inches deep. A century ago it was six feet deep.

The government of India is paying for the new water source above Khunde, but the money is processed through the district government in Salleri. They expected to finish the project in May 2014, but the final $80,000 is being blocked because transportation prices are twice what was budgeted—the Indian Embassy didn’t understand that the price of transportation is much higher in the mountains than in the lowlands. Now they’re starting to understand and will probably release more money. The new system will supply Khunde, Khumjung, and Namche with reliable clean water.

Road to Lukla (more or less):

Everyone needs a road to Lukla. This would make commodities cheaper. Flight problems would be eliminated. But now there’s no group to lobby for it. Whatever group lobbies FOR the road should also lobby to STOP the road at Lukla and not let it go further up the valley.

There will be big changes when the road comes to Khumbu. The EA could use this as its major focusing issue: “prepare for the road.” This is also a good excuse to address all the other issues.

(Note: On 10 August 2014 the government of Nepal announced that a road would be built to Surkhe, two-hours’ walk below Lukla. Construction will commence in late 2014. During May no one anticipated the road coming this soon.)

Training for locals:

Bringing in outside expertise would be helpful.

The Namche Women’s Group would welcome a volunteer teacher to come in summer to teach English. The community would provide lodging and food.

Volunteer doctors who come for 1 or 2 years would be welcome. The community would provide lodging and food.

Teacher training would be very useful.

The SPCC has not received any training yet. If there were to be training it must be suitable for this area. Such expertise can be found in Kathmandu and doesn’t need to be imported from abroad.

There should be a mobile workshop for hotel and tourism management. It would visit different villages and give workshops for local lodge owners and staff. People would be very receptive to this.

Nepali Everest guides and porters should get medical training.

Porters should be offered English lessons. Lukla is the best place because that’s where they all pass through and sometimes have time off. English lessons could also be given by FM radio. That’s what the porters are listening to on their players. The lessons could be mixed in with songs. If it’s only lessons, they won’t listen, but maybe combined with songs they would listen and learn.

Sagarmatha National Park:

The Sagarmatha National Park museum/visitors’ center at park headquarters in Namche is rundown. Some parts are in good shape, but others not. There was no park staff there during our visit. The entry room is too cold for anyone to stay there. (but it would be easy to move the entrance to the opposite, warmer side). There were no brochures at headquarters or at the entrance gate to the park.

During the Maoist period there was lots of poaching in the park, largely because the Army was not patrolling. Now the Army is back and there is less poaching. However, the wildlife population has decreased. The park keeps records of wildlife killed, but not of wildlife population sizes. Staff has decreased. No one wants to come to the mountains. Government jobs are poorly paid.

There are currently 18 “scouts” working for the park. They patrol the forests with the Army. They rarely go high up into the Khumbu because the food is too expensive. Park scouts are given a daily allowance for food, which doesn’t cover the high costs in upper Khumbu.

Financing:

30% of park entry fees are supposed to go to villages. But what money does get spent is divided evenly between the three VDCs. There is not much for each village after it’s split three ways.  A better system might be to disburse the money by projects instead of strictly by geography.

Agriculture:

The Khumbu Agro Farm in Monjo is growing spices that are sold to Europe. They also grow kiwis and other things that locals haven’t yet tried. The farm’s goals include teaching organic methods and demonstrating success from innovative methods.

Avalanche on 18 April 2014:

Having an Everest Alliance would have been helpful in dealing with the April avalanche that killed 16 high altitude porters.

The publicized threats against Everest climbers and Sherpas weren’t that serious. It was just a few people talking. But the 2012 fight plus the “bad talk” this year is giving Sherpas a bad name.

The “political thing” that happened following the avalanche was strange and confusing. It will surely go away. Next fall and spring Everest will return to business as usual.

High altitude porters come from poorer, less educated villages.  They will continue to work Everest because they need the jobs. “This is what Sherpas do.”

There was good reason to stop the climbing this year, but there was no reason to try to install Sherpas in Parliament [a political demand by a few Sherpas after the accident].

Money raised for avalanche victims’ families would be best used as scholarships for the kids. The wife will remarry; it’s the kids who will have problems.

Very few Sherpas at the avalanche scene had any rescue or medical training. In response, a new organization may be launched called the “Sherpa Himalayan Rescue Team.” This is being discussed by civic leaders in Pheriche who say the Himalayan Rescue Association endorses the idea. The new organization would probably be run by the Khumbu Alpine Conservation Council. It would send Sherpas abroad for rescue training and bring experts to Khumbu to train locals.

Nepalis interviewed during May 2014:

The comments above were distilled from conversations with the following Nepalis during May 2014. All discussions took place in Khumbu and Kathmandu. Notes were taken and edited by John Harlin. For notes on why these people were selected for interviews, read the introductory notes here.

Laxman Adhikari

Employed by EvK2CNR (Italian Pyramid research station); co-founder of Khumbu Masterplanning; helped start a Montesori-style school in Khumjung

Kul Gurung

Vice president of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), secretary of Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities (CAHC)

Mahendra Kathet

Headmaster of the Khumjung Secondary School

Lakpa T. Lama

Former executive director of Mountain Spirit

Dr. Meeta Pradhan

Director of Himalayan Programs for The Mountain Institute

Kapindra Rai (5/7/14)

Program officer for SPCC

Dr. Dhananjay Regmi

Owner of Himalayan Research Expedition, which outfits international scientists in Nepal

Sagarmatha National Park staff (2 people)

Game wardens interviewed on the trail

Ang Chiri Sherpa

Owner of Pheriche Resort trekking lodge in Pheriche; chair of Sagarmatha Buffer Zone User Committee; former chair of the Khumbu Alpine Conservation Council (KACC)

Ang Dorje Sherpa

Chairman of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), sirdar on Everest until about 1994

Ang Phinjo Sherpa

Director of Khumbu programs for EcoHimal; co-owner of Khumbu Agro Farm in Monjo; founding member of the Khumbu Concern Group; Khumbu Cooperative

FM Radio-Sherpa; Mountain Spirit

Ang Rita Sherpa

Recently retired as chief administrative officer and chairman of the Himalayan Trust Nepal

Ang Rita Sherpa

Program officer at The Mountain Institute; co-founder of Mountain Spirit; current chair of the Himalayan Trust Nepal

Ang Tshering Sherpa

Owner of Asian Trekking; president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association; co-founder of the Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities

Dawa Steven Sherpa

Co-founder of numerous initiatives including Himalayan Climate Initiative, Everest Basecamp Bakery, Eco Everest Expeditions; managing director of Asian Trekking

Dr. Kami Temba Sherpa

Director of the Khunde Hospital

Karma Sherpa

Owner of Cyber Café in Dingboche; member of KACC

Kasang Sherpa

Guide and sirdar on Everest and other mountains

Mingma Sherpa

Current chair of Khumbu Alpine Conservation Council (KACC) in Dingboche

Lakpa Dorge and Ang Tashi Sherpa (married)

Owners of Ama Dablam lodge in Kyangjuma

Nima Wangchu Sherpa

Two-time chief warden of Sagarmatha National Park; former chief warden of several other national parks in Nepal; owner of Thamserku Lodge

Pasang Sherpa

Vice president of the Khumjung Alumni Association

Dr. Pasang Yangzi Sherpa

Lecturer at Penn State University, USA

Pasang Sherpa

Worker at Khumbu Agro Farm in Monjo

Pemba Sherpa

Owner of the Mount Everest Bakery in Khumjung; on the new water committee, where he initiated the big Indian-funded water project; chair of an education committee

Pertemba Sherpa

Founder of the Sherpa Heritage House in Khumjung; former director of French and Japanese foundations that support Sherpa education; former guide and expedition organizer on Everest since 1970s

Serap Jangbu Sherpa

Owner of Panorama Lodge; chair of Health Clinic; renovator of the Namche Gompa with Francis Klatzel; on committee for the new drinking water project serving Khunde-Khumjung-Namche; co-owner of the Khumbu Agro Farm in Monjo

Thukten Sherpa

Works for Bijuli Company (KBC); chair of the Thame School

Yangjie Sherpa

Public relations officer for the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC)

Prashant Singh

Co-founder of Himalayan Climate Initiative, former director of WWF Nepal