Kathmandu, Nepal – World record mountaineer Apa Sherpa reached the top of the Mount Everest today for the record 19th time and placed a WWF banner urging the world to take action against climate change.

The banner which he brought to the top of the world at around 0800 local time calls to “Stop Climate Change – Let the Himalayas Live!”


The expedition reminds world leaders of their responsibility towards preserving the Himalayas as a global heritage, and calls on them to strike a global deal to fight climate change at the Copenhagen Climate Summit this December.

“Climate change is already wreaking havoc in the Himalayas — glaciers are in retreat across the range”, said James Leape, Director General at WWF International.

“Some scientists predict that if climate change is not controlled, the glaciers could be gone in just 25 years. This and many other climate change impacts are threatening not only the lives of people and rich biodiversity of the region, but also the development aspirations of hundreds of millions of people downstream.”

At the summit, Apa also installed a Bumpa (sacred vase) personally blessed by the Venerable Rinpoche of Tengboche (Buddhist spiritual leader), containing 400 different sacred ingredients intended to restore the sanctity of the Himalayan beyul (sacred valleys) against negative impacts of rapid environmental changes.

Congratulating WWF and Apa, Mr. Ganesh Sah, Nepal’s Minister for Environment, Science and Technology said: “The well-being of the Himalayas is crucial for economic development in Nepal. It’s only by coming together that we can deliver this message emphatically to the world.”

Apa Sherpa has experienced dangerous impacts firsthand, witnessing the changing landscapes of the Himalayas in the wake of climate change during his decades of mountaineering experience, and having been a victim personally of its disastrous consequences.

Apa carried the WWF Banner during the Eco Everest Expedition, which is led by two-time Everest Summiteer Dawa Steven Sherpa, a passionate advocate of climate change issues and also a WWF Climate Witness.

“WWF salutes the efforts of Apa and Dawa for taking the climate change message to the top of the world and being ambassadors for WWF’s Climate for Life campaign”, said Mr. Anil Manandhar, WWF Nepal Country Representative. “Now the time has come for the world to redirect its attention towards the Himalayas.”