The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment today organised a special function in the capital to send off the ‘First Nepali Women Expedition to K2 for Climate Change’.
Maya Sherpa of Okhaldhunga, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa of Solukhumbu and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa of Dolakha are set to climb Mt K2, the toughest mountain to climb on the earth after Kangchenjunga, in a world record bid.
Krishna Chandra Paudel, Secretary, MoSTE, bid farewell Maya and Pasang Lhamu by garlanding them and handing over the national flag. Dawa could not attend today’s function as she is attempting to climb Mt Cho Oyu on the Tibetan side.
Located between China and Pakistan, Mt K2 (28,251 feet), the second tallest mountain after Mt Everest, is often called ‘Killer Mountain’ for its record of one death out of every four climbers.
Nepali women were praised for their bold and historic expedition to ascend Mt K2 to draw global attention on climate change issues and its impacts on the earth with the theme ‘Women Climbing for Climate Change’.
Secretary Paudel extended best wishes to the climbers on behalf of MoSTE, the focal ministry of the International Convention on Climate Change.
“I hope your Mt K2 summit will make the country proud and convey the message of urgency to the world leaders to reduce the negative effects of climate change on the earth, especially Nepal, which is responsible for just 0.025 per cent of global greenhouse emissions,” Paudel said. Climate change has put many of Himalayan glaciers at risk of burst and is causing snow to melt at an alarming rate, various studies show.
Maya, team leader of the expedition, who has 11 years of experience in mountaineering and has already scaled Mt Everest twice, said this endeavour was also aimed at highlighting the plight of rural Nepali women facing the brunt of global warming and drawing immediate attention of the world to act on the crisis. “Mt K2 is technically a difficult mountain to climb on the earth, but want to scale it to let the entire world know about the effects of global warming,” she said. Maya informed that the Nepali expedition team would be climbing the mountaineering from Pakistan side and they will be there on June 20.
Pasang Lhamu said she wanted to strengthen the scope of mountaineering and tourism to create more employment opportunities for Nepali women, besides warning the world about the effects of global warming.
Ang Chhiring Sherpa, President, Nepal Mountaineering Association, also wished the expedition team for their noble cause of raising awareness about the impacts of climate change in Nepal.
The estimated cost of the expedition is around Rs 8 million. It is sponsored by NMA, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal and many other tourism-related organisations.
The team has revealed that the government refused to extend even token financial support to the expedition team.