World Expeditions burns NO wood in Nepal

Author: 10 Pieces  Date: Aug 29, 2015 Comments: 0

Australian Nepal trekking specialist, World Expeditions, continues to lead the way in Responsible Travel in Nepal with its complete ban on wood burning in its Annapurna and Everest region operations in Nepal.

The ban, which is the company’s newest green initiative in the Annapurna region, complements its network of private permanent campsites there and is designed to ensure the company’s entire trekking operation does not contribute to deforestation.

Instead of wood, World Expeditions will burn biomass briquettes, which are made of green waste, other organic materials and a clay binder to keep trekkers warm.  The briquettes have the added benefits of creating employment for communities in the Sindhupalchok district, an area heavily impacted by the 2015 earthquakes.

In the Everest region, where the problems caused by deforestation are more severe, World Expeditions has burned yak dung briquettes for years.

Central to its strategy of minimising its environmental footprint in Nepal are World Expeditions’ networks of permanent campsites, which have the dual advantages of avoiding the use of wood in their construction and of employing more local people than lodge-based treks.

According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, the company has looked at every aspect of its operations to ensure its environmental footprint is minimised.

“Preventing further deforestation is integral to any responsible travel program in Nepal and we have worked hard to ensure that we do not contribute to the problem in any way,” Ms Badyari said.

“The wood used to construct our dining rooms and bathroom facilities is purchased from controlled forestry in Nepal,” she said.  “We’ve installed chimney stoves to burn yak dung and biomass briquettes to heat dining rooms and the Nepali kitchen crew travelling with our trekking groups use kerosene or gas to cook the meals for the entire group,” she said.

“It gives travellers concerned about minimising their environmental impact – and many of our travellers are – the confidence to know that they are travelling green in Nepal,” she said. “We are finding too that our philosophy is gaining excellent traction with more and more travellers becoming aware the environmental issues associated with lodge and tea house treks.”

As well as adhering to Leave No Trace principles, World Expeditions was the first trekking company to partner with 10 Pieces.  See details in its new Responsible Travel Guidebook.

According to the Lonely Planet guidebook, trekking in the Nepal Himalaya (9th edition), a typical lodge can burn as much as 100 kg of firewood each day for the purposes of cooking and heating for trekkers.  With sustained growth in visitor numbers, Nepal has lost more than 70% of its forests.

More information, click here or call 1300 720 000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *