UIAA nominates Dawa Steven Sherpa for IOC award

Mountain Protection

The UIAA has nominated Dawa Steven Sherpa for the IOC Environmental Award, which recognises and encourages the implementation of good environmental practices in the field of sport.

The UIAA believes that the work done by Dawa Stephen Sherpa, before, during and after his Eco Everest Expedition 2008, is worth international recognition. That is why it has nominated him for the IOC Award for Sport and the Environment. Set up by the International Olympic Committee for Sport and the Environment, the prize is meant to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of individuals for their efforts to introduce good environmental practices into a sport of their choice. The award should recognise outstanding projects in the field of sustainable sport and the environment.

Dawa Steven Sherpa was responsible for the Eco Everest Expedition 2008, which took place last May. After his first ascent of Everest in 2007, he was inspired to discover more about global warming and the effects it had on the Khumbu region. He decided it was important to raise awareness of the threats global warming posed for the area and its people.

The Eco Everest Expedition was set up to create this awareness. It had a number of objectives, including increasing climbers’, visitors’ and Sherpas’ knowledge of climate change with a photo exhibition, set up in one of the social hubs at Base Camp. There was also a strong focus on cleaning up Everest. With financial incentives, Sherpas collected over 925 kg of waste from both Base Camp and the higher camps on the mountain and encouraged groups to dispose of their own waste during expeditions. Another objective was to field test eco-friendly systems to use while climbing; for cooking, purifying water and treating human waste.

All of these objectives were aimed at encouraging a more eco-friendly approach to climbing in the Himalayas that are both cost effective for commercial expeditions and are of great benefit to the environment.

You can read more about the Eco Everest Expedition in our previous article.

Dawa wanted to use the expedition to expand people’s knowledge of global warming and to promote the need for more eco-friendly climbing and chose Everest, the highest point in the world, as his platform for reaching the largest global audience he could. The expedition was greatly received and endorsed by some of the world’s top mountaineers.

Dawa is continuing to research and work in this area. He is cooperating with the ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) on developing sound eco-friendly practices and ethics while climbing. A trust, which was set up as part of the expedition, will help to fund early warning systems for glacial lake outburst flood in the region and continue providing financial incentives to the Sherpas for removing waste from the mountain in the future.