The project was successfully completed. Learn more about this in the official and final press release by Prof. Kurt Luger.

Mount Everest, also known locally as Sagarmatha or Chomolungma, is the highest summit in the world. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is located in the Himalayan range on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Ever since the first attempts to scale the mountain in the early 1920s, Mount Everest has inspired and attracted people from all over the world.

Nepal is an impoverished developing country, consistently ranking among the lowest on the UN human development index. Especially for struggling mountain communities, tourism is a major source of revenue – and Mt. Everest/Sagarmatha represents the crown jewel of Nepalese tourism. However, the enormous increase in visitors to the Everest region in recent decades has brought serious strains and severe negative effects on the sensitive environment of Mt. Everest itself as well as along the many popular trails of Sagarmatha/Everest National Park.

Although many activities aimed at solving the problem of solid waste have been conducted, there is today no functioning waste management system and little local experience or know-how of handling such large amounts of rubbish in an environmentally sustainable way. Existing rules and regulations on waste management are simply not enough, nor are they effectively enforced.

Fortunately, there is growing local recognition of the importance of dealing with these environmental problems, including the implementation of a new waste management system. The project described here has been initiated by the local people themselves, and will adhere to a participatory approach involving the local communities in all aspects. This project follows a bottom–up approach, building on existing structures and established policies.

For further information please download the concept note of the Saving Mount Everest Project.


In the reporting period, October 2010 to October 2011, the project followed the project plan and all activities were implemented successfully without any deviations.

Interim Report Saving Mount Everest, November 2011