How Tourism Affects Mountain Environments Essay Research

How Tourism Affects Mountain Environments Essay, Research Paper How Tourism affects Mountain Environments Impact of Tourism on Mountain Environment

How Tourism Affects Mountain Environments Essay, Research Paper

How Tourism affects Mountain Environments

Impact of Tourism on Mountain Environment

Environmental History: A Global Perspective

Singh, SC. Impact of Tourism on Mountain Environment, Meerut, India: Research India

Publications, 1989, 377.

Deterioration of mountain environment is obviously not the only problem that

humans are dealing with in terms of pollution to the ecosystem. However, it is an ever

increasing problem, that is ruining vegetation, landscape and even mountain culture. The

book I have chosen to review is titled; Impact of Tourism on Mountain Environment. It is

not a story but rather a compilation of articles relating to the problems in the Himilayas,

specifically the Everest region. There were many articles, not all of them were related to

Everest, therefore, not all of the articles were reviewed.

Although there are many mountain environments that are falling prey to man’s

commercialization, Everest seems to stick out the most. It was in 1922 that the first

attempt was made to climb the highest mountain in the world. It wasn’t until 1953,

however, that a summit was actually successful, thus creating a beginning for

mountaineering in Nepal. The start of the tourist industry became a very important asset

to the Nepalese economy. The foreign exchange was one of the primary sources of

earning for the people and government. This happened to be one of the few positives that

came along with the commercialization of Mount Everest.

One of the articles I focused on the most is titled; Impact of Tourism on the

Ecosystem of Nepal. It discussed in great detail how important the land and its uses are to

the people of the Himilayas. At many of the bases of the mountain there is little

vegetation and forest remaining to cover the lower slopes. This article made it very clear

that man was creating a very big problem to the ecosystem of the Everest region.

All of the articles were very clear and concise in the way they presented their facts.

It was proven that there is pollution all along the routes, right through the base camp of

Everest, continuing up the summit itself. Direct evidence was found to back up these

statements made by the authors. Many things were found at tent sites, such as human and

animal excretement, unburnt wood, trash and various other forms of pollution. The

authors were very clear in pointing out exact locations and numbers in terms of where and

how much garbage was being left behind. It was also pointed out to the readers why

garbage breakdown is so difficult in the Everest region. Extremely low temperatures and

the limited space to allow garbage to disperse and degrade, has reached unmanageable

levels where the tourists are most plentiful.

The authors also had some positive things to say about Everest. It was pointed

out that several efforts have been made to clean up the garbage along the trails. One of

the earlier attempts was made back in 1973, by a group of students from Washington. In

a time period of approximately twenty days, they managed to bury about two tons of

garbage. The authors were also very quick to point out the many hardships that not only

were the Nepalese people suffering from, but the land and vegetation as well. After the

tourism era began, the Everest region was at the beginning of an ecological crisis. Its

many natural resources were being over-exploited in so many ways.

Each of the authors in this book are attempting to prove to the reader the affect

that tourism and commercialization are having on the Himilayas. Each article looks at

specific areas of the mountain region and what exactly is happening to them separately.

The authors have done this by breaking down the different regions and describing in detail

its areas that are falling apart and the reasons why they have become damaged.

As well, the authors were successful in proving that the Everest region is being

polluted and destructed from the intrusions of man. The charts, maps and graphs were

visual aids for the reader to interpret and understand exactly how bad things were. These

articles were detailed, concise, and strong in terms of proving the point of the

deterioration in the Himilayas.

However, there were some downfalls to the articles. Much of the focus was based

on tourist peak season and very little research was done on the permanent residents of the

Himilayas. Since the beginning of tourism in this region, not only have tourists created

plenty of damage but locals have as well. The reasons all being economic of course. The

money inflation has turned many locals to greed and driven away their environmental

awareness. Therefore, it’s unfair to conclude that all of the problems are because of

tourists. It is all about local people wanting to increase their income and because of the

rapidly changing demands of tourists, locals are complying with these demands at any

cost.

In conclusion, my understanding of the book overall, was to relay a message to the

readers that something needs to be done to help the mountain environment in the

Himilayas. Many people are quick to judge that all of the winter activities in this region

are responsible for its breaking down. It is all year round activity both from the local

people and tourists that contribute to the breakdown of the environment. When the

tourists leave after the peak season, the local people are still hard at work to prepare for

the demands of the tourists for the season that lies ahead. It is important to realize that

there are things that can be done to ensure the environment is protected. The authors

suggest that declaring a National Park in which reservation is the primary topic rather than

destruction would be ideal. On the other hand, one of the author’s noted that

“development brings people, and people act on nature, impact is than unavoidable” (Singh

1989, pg.32). I also understood from this book that the authors felt that even though

destruction was taking place, that tourism is a big part of the Nepalese Mountain

Environment and promotion for tourism was still very important for the economy. I also

understood that in order to accomplish anything, it was important for a compromise to be

made between the wishes of the tourists and the local people.

Unfortunately, as one author points out, the “majority of individuals and

institutions are turning to exploitation of nature with only an insufficient minority sparing

some efforts for sustaining it” (Singh 1989, pg. 24).

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