Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nearly 30 Sacks Of Garbage Left By Hikers At Mt. Pulag Were Picked Up During A Clean-Up Drive

As the third highest mountain in the Philippines, it's not surprising that Mt. Pulag is one of the most climbed mountains in the country. Dozens of climbers troop to the mountain every month to experience walking through its grassy slopes and watching majestic sceneries such as the sea of clouds and a clearer view of the Milky Way Galaxy.

This influx of visitors, however, has a dark side. In a recent clean-up drive held at the mountain, guides and porters and other concerned groups gathered between 20 to 30 sacks of trash. Most of these are plastics and are therefore non-biodegradable.

The Cordillera Conservation Trust (CCT), an organization seeking "to provide relevant practical and sustainable solutions to environmental problems arising in the Cordillera region" was at the clean-up drive and posted photos from said drive on Facebook. Check them out below.
Empty water and soda plastic bottles among those gathered in the mountain. Photo by the Cordillera Conservation Trust. 

The CCT wrote, "We joined the guides and porters today to clean up Mt Pulag and were horrified by the amount of trash climbers have left on the mountain hidden in the grass, on the sides of camp, etc.. This is one of the main reasons we are pushing to close down the Babadak trail to camping and requiring all tourists to stay in homestays in the Ranger Station area and climbing at dawn to the summit. This will minimize both the waste and impact on the mountain and provide much needed income for the local community. We must have picked up 20-30 sacks of trash littered from the mossy forest to the summit."

The organization's suggestions that the Babadak Trail be closed to camping and that climbers should be required to stay in homestays near the Ranger Station have merits and they do make complete sense. These will benefit the place and the locals both environmentally and economically.