The nature enthusiast team of Universitas Gadjah Mada (Mapagama) has successfully climbed the Annapurna Basecamp Trek, Himalaya Mountains, Nepal at an altitude of 4,130 meters.
For 15 days, 12-26 October 2018, the Mapagama team went mountain climbing and conducted research there to commemorate the 45th anniversary of its establishment.
This research expedition was joined by cross-generational Mapagama members as a collaboration between adventure activities and the Tridharma of Higher Education by UGM lecturers, students, and alumni. The members are Prof. Dr. M. Baiquni, M.A., Dr. Adi Prasetijo, M.Si., Kurnia Fahmy Ilmawan, Kristian Dwinanda Putra, and Nur Rochmad S. Putra.
This expedition was led by Prof. Dr. M. Baquni, M.A., who is also the Head of Development Geography Department, Faculty of Geography UGM. The research carried the theme of ecotourism in the Annapurna Sanctuary Area by examining development of communities, villages, and hiking trails in the Annapurna Base Camp through ecotourism activities.
Manager of Mapagama’s 45 Years Research Expedition Team, Kurnia Fahmy ilmawan, explained that mountain climbing as a tourism activity is one of the drivers of rural community development in the Annapurna region. In 2017, there are 159,560 climbers from 160 different countries who climbed it.
"The development of tourism activities there also has impacts on the indigenous people," he explained in a release sent Wednesday (31/10).
Fahmy reported this expedition was carried out for 8 days, which started from Ghandruk Village at 1,940 meters above sea level and ended at Annapurna Basecamp at 4,130 meters. In Ghandruk Village, the team acclimatized themselves to thin oxygen levels in the highlands before the expedition.
“The team successfully reached its goal in the Annapurna Base Camp on Friday, 19 October 2018, after 5 days of climbing,” he said.
Aside from climbing, the Mapagama team also held a meeting with the officials of Annapurna Sanctuary Area in Pokhara. It is aimed to gain more information about conservation area governance in Nepal, the impact of ecotourism activities, and to assess the possibility of conducting student research and community service program in the region.
The result of this expedition will be disseminated through the 34th SDG’s Seminar Series to be held on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at Merapi Auditorium, Faculty of Geography, UGM. This seminar raises the theme Poverty Alleviation Through Rural Regional Development in Annapurna Sanctuary Area, Himalaya, Nepal with Prof. Dr. M. Baiquni, M.A., as the speaker.