Everest has been described as the highest junkyard in the world. Environmental groups are pushing for a radical solution: temporary closure of the world’s highest mountain.
Warnings from ecologists that a disaster is imminent in the area around Mount Everest have been ignored for years. However, campaigners warn that the price of tourism is both rubbish and the colonisation of the area by restaurants and internet cafes. An environmentalist explained the strain placed on the indigenous population: “Providing enough electricity and water for the small communities surrounding Everest becomes very challenging when there are tens of thousands of tourists and climbers competing for those same resources.” He claimed that even eco-tourism is doing more harm than good, since it is estimated that only 10% of the money spent by trekkers each day reaches village economies.
But the sherpas who earn their living from the perilous work of guiding adventurers to the summit oppose any reduction in climbing permits. Ang Dawa, a guide in Katmandu said: “For us it is simple. There are tens of thousands of people in the region who solely depend on the trekkers and mountaineers for their income. If they don’t come, these people will starve.” Nepalese officials say that they have no immediate plans to close down the mountain. “All climbers are welcome as long as they are willing to pay,” a government spokesman said. This is not surprising. For a team of seven climbers even to set foot on the slopes of Everest, they must pay a royalty of $94,000 to the Nepalese government.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) The problem Mount Everest is suffering has only been denounced recently.
b) Limiting the number of tourists to Everest means the local people will die of hunger.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text
a) Explain why ecologists want to close Mount Everest. Give at least two reasons.
b) Why is the Nepalese government against closing Mount Everest?
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) supplying (paragraph 2) providing
- b) dangerous (paragraph 3) perilous
- c) decrease (paragraph 3) reduction
- d) mountain top (paragraph 3) summit
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) What a paradox! By visiting (visit) places of natural beauty, we only manage to destroy (destroy) that beauty.
- b) Last year, a geological team found (find) signs that the landscape of Everest has changed significantly (significant) since 1953.
- c) Unless we protect the environment now, it will be too late to save the world.
- d) Rewrite the following sentence from the text. Begin with the words given.“Eco-tourism is doing more harm than good.”
- More harm than good is being done by Eco-tourism.