Unesco Green Citizens
Project begin: 21/03/2013

To fight against pollution in the Himalayas, Marion Chaygneaud-Dupuy has created an annual expedition to clean the road from the north-east up to the summit of Everest. 10 tonnes of waste have been collected in 4 years. Marion’s initative allows local communities to enjoy having access to a clean environment. In the future, Clean Everest wishes to develop a portable ashtray, with a Clean Everest logo. It will be made of recycled trash from the highest peaks of the Himalayas. This symbolic ashtray will be carried by climbers on the mountains and will be a way to define oneself as a responsible climber. A larger community will be engaged in the protection of the mountain in the Himalayas and in other parts of the world. Climbers and non-climbers, anyone who is involved in collecting trash where they are, can join this larger community. Through sharing knowledge related to how to apply the mountain environmental charter, they plan partnerships in areas where the mountaineering industry is growing in a responsible way.


Leading organisation: Global Nomad
Covered Countries: China
Theme: Biodiversity, Indigenous and Local Knowledge
Sub-themes: Waste management
Tag: #Youth
Selection: 2020
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Project needs
Communication strategy design
Graphic design
Monitoring and evaluation
Partnerships development
Social Media
Sponsorship/ Philanthropy

Initial Problem

Since the first commercial expeditions were organized 30 years ago, Everest and other 8000 meters peaks did not stop collecting the pollution of the thousands of people climbing each year.
Waste management on the highest peaks of the world was a difficult task to manage, especially in the Tibetan areas of China because of the lack of adequate infrastructure. The Himalayas have been polluted, which endangers drinking water and access to it, as the glaciers feed the biggest rivers in Asia.

The positive impacts that the project has made:

Not only did Clean Everest help the restoration of the mountain but also the 2 billion people who are dependent on the water from the highest Himalayan glacier’s, not to mention all the nature which also depends on this water to survive. Both humans and the natural world can enjoy the cleaner and healthier water.

The impacted areas and population:

Hindu Kush Himalaya, composed of 9 countries that are all endowed with mountains. The Asian population depends on that area covered by glaciers. It feeds the biggest rivers of Asia on which 40 % of the world’s population depends.

The obstacles and challenges

The main challenge is related to the transportation of trash bags from higher camps to the base camp. This challenge was solved through the use of. Initially, yak owners were charging very high costs and had a tendency to act carelessly. The “cash for trash” system, paying each kilo of trash carried down, gave them recognition and allowed them to become more and more responsible.

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