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Code Of Conduct

Building competitive enterprises across Himalayas

The Himalayas Need You!
A Call to Action.

If you are an "Outdoor-ist" like we are, chances are that you have already fallen in love with the pristine beauty of the majestic Himalaya with its rich environmental and cultural heritage. And like us, you are probably addicted to that indescribable feeling that keeps you coming back for more. You've probably also tried to not notice growing sections of degradation and litter-it's easier to shut that out than to acknowledge the discomfort it causes. After all, YOU are not like that, and what can one person do?

If that sounds like you, listen up: There is a desperate need for mountain enthusiasts to become 'influencers' and 'agents' of change. We believe that YOU whether an individual or tour company operator - hold the power, privilege and opportunity to collectively shape the future of the Himalayan region. And we are here to support and provide each of you tools to be a better steward of the landscape you recreate or work in to help create a new wave of outdoorists, that are committed to the sustainable development of the place, its people and resources-thereby ensuring the legacy of the Himalayas thrives for future generations to equally savor its beauty and culture.

Founded in 1989, the Himalayan Environment Trust (HET) was the first to send out an appeal to preserve the Himalayan environment and its people. The Founding Trustees which included Sir Edmund Hillary, Captain. M.S. Kohli, Chris Bonington, Moris Herzog and Junko Tabai coined a code of conduct-guidelines to sustain the well being of the Himalayan region. We at HET, are now urging you to adopt the Code of Conduct v2 and take a leadership role in becoming a Conscious Climber.

You can start by making the CONSCIOUS CLIMBER Code of Conduct Commitment (C5). C5 is endorsed by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). Join us and help grow the movement.


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CONSCIOUS CLIMBER Code of CondC5 are suggested best practices for individuals and to the Himalayan region. Committing to the 5 principles future of the Himalayas. Tour operators can obtain C5 minimum standards of the principles listed here (to be shared separately).


1. I will be a CONSCIOUS consumer
To travel thoughtfully means to act with consideration environments and cultures we come into contact with informed. Knowledge equips us to minimise our nega contribution.
Mountain regions have no capability to recycle, which build up.

Help reduce plastic pollution by:

  • Avoiding single-use plastic bottled water. Purchase filtration system or use water purifying tablets.

  • Bringing your own cup for tea and coffee

  • Using a cloth bag rather than a plastic bag

  • Not buying toiletries in small plastic sachets.

  • Using a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush

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2. I will help CONSERVE habitats and wildlife
While we enjoy the natural world, we must be conscious of our impact on the fragile ecosystems we recreate in. While carrying out non-biodegradable garbage from the campsite is a must, there is much more we can do to minimise our impact on the flora and fauna:

  • Say bye to bonfires; buy a down jacket instead

  • Stay clear of streams; water contamination is a big deal

  • Avoid digging trenches around tents to ward off rain water

  • Toilet tents are mandatory to contain human waste

  • Keep the wild in wildlife

    • Educate yourself of the prevailing wildlife in the area

    • Learn to identify animal signs by footprints and avoid camping in such areas

    • Do not approach animals in the hope of getting a photo as this could provoke an encounter

    • Make your presence felt to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear

Need to "go" but bathroom are closed?

• Walk at least 70 steps away from trails, water and people.

• If you have to poop, dig a hole 6 inches+ deep, dispose of your waste in the hole, cover it, and pack out your toilet paper.

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3. I will support the local COMMUNITY
How we choose to allocate our travel spending can have far reaching ramifications well beyond our own experiences, with the potential to make an important difference to the lives of many.

  • Choose C5 certified adventure travel operators

  • Travel with companies that employ local people. You will have a richer experience with someone who knows the land and the culture intimately

  • Support local economies by buying locally made handicrafts and products and pay a fair price to the vendor without too much haggling

  • Stay in local homestays rather than chain hotels for a more intimate experience Eat local food at local cafes

  • Look for accommodation which supports multiple initiatives that positively impact the environment and assist the local communities. These initiatives could include offering employment to local community, showcasing local craft, becoming forest guardians for a forest trail and encouraging organic produce.

  • Respect local culture and tradition. Be aware of local sentiments to ensure local communities are not offended in any way


For several years now the Outlook Traveller Team has been awarding homestays and hotels which follow an eco-tourism approach. The Bikasthan Heritage Farmhouse located at West Sikkim is a past winner.

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4. I will be a CLEAN climber
The cumulative impact from every discarded wrapper can devastate a natural area. Disposing of waste properly is a vital skill-and it's not just a matter of keeping the landscape visually appealing. Food waste, for example, attracts wildlife and erodes their natural instincts to avoid humans. It can take common items like plastic bags and aluminum cans up to 100 years to decompose. Leave it better than you found it by:

Removing trash is a simple but important and effective act of stewardship. If you are on a trail as a part of a trek or a day walk, carry a cloth "shopping bag" to pick up trash left behind by fellow trekkers who are not sensitised to the environment. The impact of taking this step is significant-you will lead by example, encourage fellow trekkers and educate mountain communities of the negative consequences of litter to tourism and to their environment.

It's not enough to clear trash away from a campsite or put it in a bin when traveling. Most remote locations in the mountains don't have recycling facilities. It's imperative that trash is transported to a point where an organised recycling process takes place.

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5. I will be CLIMATE considerate
While choosing human-powered expeditions like trekking and rafting can reduce your footprint, even bikers or motorists can adopt the C5 principles to lower their impact on the environment.

Steer clear of tourist hotspots-mountain locations are fragile and can sustain a limited number of travelers. Avoid low-budget adventure travel companies that set up fixed camps and run huge 'batches' offering lower costs. The price is paid by the degradation of the environment due to continuous use of a campsite by hundreds of people. It's best to look for areas and experiences which offer a genuine wilderness experience.

Commit. Act. Spread the Word

Commiting to the C5 priciples will provide you the opportunity to give something back to the Himalayan region that you love and regularly return to. Ready to take the first step? You can make the commitment at www.Himalayan And next time you are on the trail, remember to put the principles into action.

You can also share your ideas on protecting and promoting sustainable livelihoods and tourism in the Himalayan region by reaching out to ____________ (email or social media contact).
Help spread the word and grow the movement. Acting together collectively, we can be part of the solution in ensuring the legacy of the Himalayas thrives for generations to come.



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