One year on from the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Intrepid Travel and WWF-Australia have announced a partnership that will see the travel company donate at least $100,000 from trekking trips in Nepal to help to rebuild the remote mountain villages in Langtang National Park.
One of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal, the Langtang area was one of the worst hit areas when the earthquake triggered a catastrophic avalanche and landslide.
The Intrepid Travel and WWF-Australia project will help to restore, renovate and rebuild teahouses, homestays and lodges to safer, greener standards with 54 teahouses and hotels to be assisted.
In addition, new trekking routes in the area will be explored to provide fresh, sustainable hiking opportunities for tourists.
Intrepid Travel co-founder and CEO Darrell Wade said the funding would provide badly needed assistance for tourism - the economic back-bone of the people living in and around Langtang National Park.
“There was an overwhelming level of support after the earthquake for the people of Nepal, and a lot of work has been done to rebuild the country over the past year. But it takes years to rebuild and Nepal relies heavily on the tourism industry for employment and conservation’.
Known for its pristine forests, Tibetan-like culture and breathtaking mountain views, Langtang was the first area in the Himalayas to be protected and is home to iconic species such as the red panda, snow leopard and Himalayan tahr.
Darren Grover, WWF-Australia’s National Manager – Species, who has previously travelled to Nepal to work with local WWF staff, said: “WWF thanks Intrepid Travel for this funding support.
“WWF-Nepal has a strong association with Langtang National Park working there to conserve biodiversity, enhance livelihoods, and sustain diverse cultures and traditions.
“Following the earthquake devastation, the focus of WWF’s conservation work is expanding to meet the demand to rebuild Langtang.
“Helping restore and rebuild teahouses to better standards will make a big difference to these mountain villages.
“The faster we can get visitors back to Langtang, to improved, green facilities, the faster we can inject revenue into these communities and kick start the local economy,” he said.