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“Zanskar Himalayan Exploration” exists to provide safe and eco friendly adventures in the Himalayas”. This is not just a slogan for us but a principle that guides our work. We are doing our best to leave nothing but our footprints in the fragile environment that is the Himalayas. We educate our staff and inform our clients about their responsibilities before going trekking. Every year we organize clean up treks at our own expense on the major trekking routes. This is to preserve the natural environment and to make sure that the local community and future visitors are able to enjoy a clean and healthy Ladakh. Zanskar Himalayan Exploration is particularly aware of preserving Ladakh’s fragile environment and cultural heritage and put great effort into minimizing the impact of trekking.
Minimizing the environmental impact.
As much as possible we avoid taking unnecessary packaging and waste on the trail. Litter is always brought back to Leh, and tourists are requested to bring back their private non-organic litter also. Picking up other people’s litter along the way is encouraged and sets a good example to others! • To minimize pollution of the precious water resources our staffs wash dishes away from streams and rivers in a bucket. We also discourage clients from using shampoos and soaps if washing in rivers. • Toilet facilities are also carefully placed outside the campsites by Z.H.E staff and located to minimize the effect on the area. However if nature calls while walking through the day it is important that trekkers find a site far enough away from any water source and dispose of paper by burning as it will not decompose in the high, dry environment. • We provide boiled drinking water on the trek to minimize the waste created by packaged flavored drinks. While in Leh, we encourage tourists to refill their water bottles at water refill shop or treat it themselves with water purification.
Preserving Ladakhi culture (Z.H.E)
• Zanskar Himalayan Exploration is a Ladakhi owned and run company. Respecting our cultural heritage and social environment is of great importance to us. • Tourism has brought great changes to the traditional Ladakhi lifestyle. Zanskar Himalayan Exploration acknowledges the importance of preserving the cultural integrity of people and places visited on our treks. • Our clients are made aware that they are guests passing through other people’s country and they should always act accordingly. • Our clients are asked to approach the locals in a humble and respectful way, not to take photographs without permission and not to wear clothing that appears provocative. • Unfortunately even simple gift giving can have a negative impact. Distributing pens or sweets can encourage a culture of begging and we recommend our clients refrain from doing this.
Thinking of the future (Z.H.E)
Besides respect for the natural and cultural environment, Zanskar Himalayan Exploration is committed to sustainable development. We are committed to long term relationships with our local suppliers, and our staff is fairly paid and also insured through the company. Through home stays we try to bring more of the profits of tourism to the villages. We can offer a unique trek through the Markha valley and into Kharnak involving home stays in Markha valley and at the nomad’s camp in Kharnak. We believe that tourism based on principles of sustainability and equity can be used to improve the livelihood of local communities. Our aim is to live up to this.