Himalayan Adventure Trust Japan (HAT-J) was established in October 1990 in order to join the appeal of the Himalayan Adventure Trust established by Sir Edmund Hillary to promote the conservation of the mountain environment and take any action which could be started from his /her own country.
Under the chairpersonship of Ms. Junko Tabei, the total membership of Himalayan Adventure Trust Japan (HAT-J) is now over 1400 and it has been active in a wide range of fields, such as garbage collection, trekking inside and outside Japan,
a project planting apple trees to make cash income for Himalayan villagers, building and running garbage incinerators at Lukla, Kuhmbu valley (coordinating with SPCC) and organizing international youth exchanges for conservation of the mountain environment called "Cross-Cultural Mountain Conservation Youth Project" annually.
# Youth Cross-Cultual Mountain Conservation
The first Youth Cross-Cultual Mountain Conservation(Cross-Cultural Mountain Conservation Youth Project) was held in the Mt. Fuji and Tateyama areas, Japan, in 1992, then Mt. Soraku, Korea, in 1993, Mt.Tomuraushi of Hokkaido, Japan, in 1994, Mt.Canbaek,China, in 1995, Annapurna, Nepal, in 1996, followed by Oze, Japan, in 1997, Ayub National Park in Pakistan in August 1999, E peak of Snow Mt. and Taipei. Taiwan in 2000, Matsumoto Kamikochi Mt.Kita-Hodaka Japan in 2001, Hong Kong in 2003, Kazakhustan in 2004, Mt. Fuji and Tokyo. Japan in 2005, Valley of Flower(3500m), Hemkyund Sahib(4329m). India in 2006, . All these projects were made possible with the great support of the mountain associations of Asia.
In orther to raise the awareness on the environmental concervation of the mountains among the public, it is nessesary to appeal its importance extensibly through the education or other means.
HAT-J had been aware of this and been organised Cross-Cultural Mountain Conservation Youth Project to give the opportunity to the young generation of Asian countries. to learn about the concervation of the mountain environment.
The youth of many Asian nations were get together to study, discuss and having the exchange as well as climb the mountain.
# The Apple project
The apple project was started in 1995, with the support of Nissei Green Foundation, with the aim of improving the life of the inhabitants and conserving the environment through planting apple trees and selling fruit to gain cash income in Khumbu valley in Nepal.
Now apple trees have been planted in Chopulun village for research and as a test case. The project is in progress already and 700 nursery trees have been distributed.
The farmers of Fukushima, Japan are supporting this project and they have provided nursery trees as well as know-how for apple-tree growing. The wave of support for providing nursery trees has stretched to other regions of Japan,
namely Aomori and Yamagata, which are famous apple growing regions. Also many volunteers and farmers are visiting Nepali villages to distribute seedlings and plant nurseries, while they enjoy exchanges with local people in Khubu valley.
This project triggered an activity among the young people of Lhukla to establish an NGO to distribute apple seedlings and other nursery plants throughout the Mt. Everest region. We appreciate the fact that our activity encouraged such a self-help initiative by the local people of the Himalayas.
# Lukla Project
As the population and number of tourists increase, a garbage problem has became an important issue in Himalayan villages. The purpose of the project,
coordinating with Sagalmata Pollution Control Committee, is to build and run a garbage incinerator at Lukla, as well as to increase awareness about a garbage collection system in Kuhmbu valley.
The project started in 1992 with the help of a Japanese foundation, and there is a garbage incinerator which could burn 30 kilograms per hour. The garbage collection and operation of the incinerator are conducted by SPCC.
# The clean mountain hike
As mountaineering has become more popular, the garbage problem in the mountains has become serious, which is an issue in Japan and other parts of the world.
It has been the major concern of HAT-J to promote the principles for being in nature which are stated in the HAT moral code. Among the members of HAT-J and supporters, we are organizing hiking tours called lean mountain hikes・
throughout the year to pick up garbage while we are walking as a means to promote the rules for being in nature and the importance of keeping the rules.
In 1998 clean mountain hikes were organised 24 times and 700 people participated in 1998 in Japan.
We produced a manual for the treatment of garbage by overseas expeditions and the revision of the manual is underway.
# International Youth Forum in OZE( 6th Cross-Cultural Mountain Conservation Youth Project )
The International Youth Forum in Oze took place from August 20th to 26th, 1997, with Sir Edmund Hillary as the honorable guest, as a part of the Sixth Cross-Cultural Mountain Conservation Youth Project. The project held a series of events in mountain areas and cities, like Maebashi and Tokyo.
The participants included ten delegates from China, four from Nepal, four from Korea, four from Pakistan, four from Bhutan, three from India, four from Mongolia, four from Hongkong, three from New Zealand and 43 from Japan. The project was organised by the HAT-J staff with the help of the HAT-J members and the volunteers.
Oze, where the main forum took place, is one of Japan's most precious natural heritage sites as well as being a monumental place where the mountain environment conservation movement marked its first steps in Japan. We chose this place to let the youths from Asia and Pacific enjoy the high wetlands of Oze, at an altitude of around 2000m, and to think about what they themselves could contribute to nature conservation.
It was our honour to have Sir Edmund Hillary as the special speaker in the forum. We were glad to have the opportunity to let Sir Edmund Hillary appreciate the nature of Oze and to speak about his concern for the conservation of the mountain environment to youths who hold the future on their shoulders.
During the seven day programme, the young people enjoyed trekking and camping in the mountains while learning about nature and its conservation as well as discussing among themselves what they could do. The youths and other participants with Sir Edmund Hillary adopted the following resolution to conclude the project.