China closes Mt Everest base camp to combat garbage issue

China closes Mt Everest base camp to combat garbage issue

Beijing: China has banned the entry of visitors who don’t have climbing permits into the core zone of the Mount Everest National Nature reserve in Tibet to better conserve the environment of the world’s highest mountain. But for travellers, who have a climbing permit, the mountaineering activities will not be affected, according to the reserve, which was set up in 1988.

Covering an area of around 33,800 square km, including a 10,312-square km core zone, the reserve is home to one of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems. Recently, a report went viral online claiming the Qomolangma base camp was “permanently closed due to heavy pollution.”

In Tibet, the the 8,848-metre high Mount Everest is called as Mount Qomolangma. The deputy director with the reserve’s administration, Kelsang said ordinary tourists are banned from areas above Rongpo Monastery, around 5,000 metres above sea level. A new tent camp will be set up nearly two-km away from the original one, the state-run Xinhua news reported.

Though ordinary visitors can’t go beyond the monastery, it won’t affect them from appreciating the mountain. Travellers who have a climbing permit can go to the base camp at an altitude of 5,200 metres, and mountaineering activities have been approved by the regional forestry department.


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