Nepal Army and The Coca-cola foundation concludes Mountain Clean-Up Campaign 2023
KATHMANDU, June 06: "An endeavor to save the Himalayas" by the Nepal Army and the Coca-Cola Foundation was successfully concluded on June 5, 2023. This is the fourth mountain clean-up campaign that has been conducted. The event was organized as a celebration of World Environment Day as well. The event took place at the Hyatt Place, Kathmandu. The campaign, with its team of 90+ members, successfully conducted the cleaning and waste management of four majestic peaks: Mt. Everest, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Baruntse, and Mt. Lhotse.
The program was attended by the chief guest, the Chief of the Army, General Prabhu Ram Sharma, Vice President of Public Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability at Coca-Cola India, and officers from the US Embassy, Kathmandu, mountaineering experts, and representatives from the Nepal army, the department of environment, the department of tourism, and the department of industry.
The chief guest, General Prabhu Sharma, was overjoyed at the successful completion of the campaign that protected the sanctity of the Himalayas. He clarified that the objectives of the program were to “safeguard the beauty of the mountains, preserve the ecosystem, save the Himalayas, support the tourism industry, promote the growth of the mountain economy, and mitigate the impact of climate change.” He paid tribute to the fallen travelers in the mountains and wished for the speedy recovery of the injured. He extended his gratitude to the team members, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and other sponsors and stakeholders who helped continue this noble mission and leave behind a legacy. He wished the distinguished guests and responsible citizens to join hands in combating plastic pollution to celebrate the 50th World Environment Day.
Ms. Divyani Rana, the vice president of public affairs, communication, and sustainability at Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, gave the opening remarks for the event. She considered it a privilege for the foundation to support the army in preserving the beauty and biodiversity of the mountains of Nepal by cleaning up the pollution and debris littering the mountains, via this campaign. She “considered it our responsibility to keep the mountains clean for future generations.” She mourned the lives lost by the sherpas and promised to conduct a program to compensate their families for the unfortunate loss.
Lt. Colonel Kishor Adhikari, the team leader of the campaign, shared his experience as well. He considered this event a source of pride and joy for all. He considered team spirit, preparation, connection with stakeholders, communication, and selfless help by all the members to be key to the completion of this program. "Our mountains, our responsibility", was his major motto.
Ms. Maya Gurung, part of the 1st women's summit expedition team to conquer the 7 peaks, and Ms. Purnima Shrestha, a Nepalese mountaineer, and photojournalist, the first Nepali woman to climb Mt. Dhaulagiri, also expressed their opinions regarding the lack of proper sanitation and waste management in the mountain ranges. They shared how other nations have proper regulations and services for waste and feces disposal, and urged the government to form strict rules like in Alaska and South America.
Mr. Adarsh Avasthi, country director of Coca-Cola Nepal and Bhutan, concluded the event by presenting a vote of thanks for the event. He was overjoyed at the opportunity received by the Coca-Cola Foundation to support such an honorable event. He promised that the foundation would remain committed to keeping the mountains and community clean.
The event also featured a video warning about the effects of pollution due to a lack of planning and accumulating garbage. It showcased the efforts of the porters, sherpas, medical professionals, locals, and rescue operators in maintaining the trekking industry in Nepal. It also celebrated the removal and recycling of 35708 kilograms of waste from the mountain peaks. Along with that, felicitations and tokens of love were provided toGeneral Prabhu Sharma, Ms.
Maya Gurung and Ms. Purnima Shrestha, leaders of the 4 peaks: Lt. Colonel Kishor Adhikari, Capt. Bhim Bahadur Bhujel and Major Samir Bahadur Basnet, Campaign Director: Brigadier General Sundar Kumar Pandey, and Coordinating Officer: Arun Upreti.