Namgyal Zangbu Scherpa

NAMGYAL ZANGBU Sherpa

Namgyal Zangbu is a Nepalese Sherpa. His father, Zimba Sherpa, is the former president of the NMA (Nepal Moutaineering Association) and has been an important player in Nepal’s awareness of waste.

Namgyal is our main on-site contact. With his extensive knowledge of the field, the people and the Khumbila Foundation of which he is the director. He was able to guide us on the main needs of Khumbu.

His investment in Nepal, as well as that of his father, will be an important asset in approaching Nepalese organizations and giving us credibility.

His previous trip to France allowed him to master the language and give his point of view on the project in French :

NAMASTE!

GREETINGS FROM THE HIMALAYAS,

I am the first generation of my family tree to be born in the city of Kathmandu. Before that, my parents and grandparents were all born in the village of Khumjung, located in The Everest National Park (Sagarmatha) located at 3790 meters above sea level.

Unlike most of my friends in Kathmandu, almost every year I had the chance to visit Khumjung village and visit my grandparents and cousins. Even at an early age, returning to the village was a moment away from the dust of the city. The fresh air, clean environment, flora/fauna and beautiful mountains, were a reason to feel proud to be a Sherpa and to be part of this landscape.

Over the years, as I continue my annual visits to the mountains, the apparent degradation of the environment was quite evident.
Large-scale deforestation, the increasing number of houses and lodges under construction, the amount of plastic products thrown onto trails and rivers, the increase in population and number of tourists are the apparent changes I have witnessed over the years. The negative impacts on the environment were clearly due to population growth and the need to respond to the increasing number of tourists visiting the region for trekking and mainly for expeditions to the world’s highest mountains.

Tourism has indeed brought a big change as it has provided employment opportunities, better living standards, as well as the construction of the Khumjug School with the assistant of the Himalayan Trust created by Sir Edmund Hillary (the godfather of the Sherpa people). It has also enabled people to be educated, to travel abroad and to realize the importance of preserving the environment for the future generation.

In the Everest region, we need a symbiotic solution that would keep the tourism industry intact as well as the local environment. Various measures have been taken by the local community, the government and international agencies. Lately, garbage collection has become a crusade and a marketing tool for the most part. The government has also imposed high climbing charges and a garbage depot to encourage tourists to return their garbage to collection points. However, there is clearly a lack of recycling and there is little space for disposal in these highlands. There are also technical difficulties encountered at the collection point due to the amount of waste generated and collected.

In November 2020, when Olivier contacted me with the idea of building an incinerator in Pangboche, at 3985 meters above sea level, I quickly contacted a few people from the area and realized that it was indeed a great idea and a location for the project. The proximity of this village to the most popular commercial mountains, easy access, a strong village community and other factors are a great positive force for such a project. In addition, the project will have a “pollution filter system, to avoid simply turning garbage pollution into air pollution and installing an energy transformation system if villagers need electricity or hot water” meaning that the level of research provided by this project will certainly have a profound impact on the environment of the entire region.

I sincerely believe that this project and similar projects in the future will benefit the environment, the local population in general and, participate, the ability to cope with the ever-increasing number of tourists. This will continue to offer tourism-related opportunities in a more positive light as well as in a sustainable scenario.

I must mention Jean Michel Jorda, who is a fervent lover of Nepal and its people. He is an expert in adventure activities as well as local culture with his close ties with people and his land. He is also the first person who introduced me to waste management, recycling and a greater sense of the importance of environmental preservation for our future generation.

He is also a mentor for our Khumbila Foundation established in 2012 and we focus mainly on “the mountain and its people” in Nepal.

— Namgyal Zangbu Sherpa — 02/01/2021, Kathmandu, Nepal

Zimba Sherpa, Namgyal’s father, was already present in a documentary by Jean-Michel Jorda, “Zimba the Sherpa” in 2015.

You can find the site of their trekking agency, Khumbila, with the foundation designed to promote tourism by protecting the mountain environment.