In order to draw international attention to the impact of global warming on the Himalayan glaciers, Nepalese cabinet ministers held a special cabinet meeting at the Kala Patthar (17,192 ft.) plateau, at the base of Mt. Everest on December 4, 2009. The meeting was scheduled a few days before the UN Conference for Climate Change at Copenhagen.
Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and 23 other ministers were flown by helicopters to the foot of Mt. Everest for the meeting. During the meeting, a 10-point “Everest Declaration” was released, which calls for concerted actions to minimize adverse effects of climate change in the Himalayan region. The cabinet also decided to extend the territories of Api-Nampa Conservation Area in Darchula, Gauri Shankar Conservation Area in Ramechhap, and Dolakha and Bardiya National Park.
The meeting was funded by private agencies and organizations from the tourism sector, including Mr. Suman Pandey, president, Explore Himalaya, and PATA International member. Mr. Pandey was the planning and operation coordinator of the event, and he said that organizing the meeting at such a high altitude was a big achievement. According to him, although the event was held to focus the world’s attention on the adverse affect of climate change, he believed the impressive mountain scenery and natural beauty of the venue may not have escaped the peoples’ attention. He hoped that this event would popularize Nepal and the Everest region among travelers.