Sindhupalchowk: The picturesque mountain ranges of Sindhupalchowk were once a winter wonderland, drawing in droves of tourists from around the world to marvel at the snow-capped peaks and participate in a variety of winter activities.
However, in recent years, the effects of climate change have caused a dramatic change in the region’s landscape, turning once-glittering peaks into barren black rocks.
The popular tourist destinations of Upper Helambu, Panchpokhari, and Jugal ridge zone, which used to be covered in snow from mid-November onwards, are now seeing a decline in snowfall, leading to a decline in tourism and a corresponding impact on the local economy. The decline in snowfall has also led to a decline in the number of domestic and international tourists visiting these regions for snow-related activities, and a displacement of people who rely on tourism enterprises.
In an effort to combat the effects of climate change and revive the tourism industry, Helambu Rural Municipality has set an ambitious goal to produce artificial snow. Neema Gyaljen Sherpa, chair of the rural municipality, said they plan to pilot this initiative in one location, with the hope of bringing back the snow-capped peaks that once made the region famous.
“It has been quite some time since we have seen snowfall in popular tourist destinations like Panchpokhari, Nagitham, Chyochyodanda, Amayangri, Kutumasang, Melamchichyang, and Sermathang, among others in the district,” said Kami Lama of Helambu-2.
The rise in temperature and effects of climate change have also impacted the local farming community, with the destructive floods of last year serving as a stark reminder of the long-term risks to the human community in the region. As climate change continues to affect the region, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the once-thriving tourism industry of Sindhupalchowk. RSS