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News In Brief

Saving Himalayas from overpopulation and litter

Nepal, West Germany, and Switzerland have joined UNESCO in forming a body to save the Himalayan and Hindu Kush Mountains from the ravages of a booming population, overgrazing animals, and litterbug mountaineers.

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The mountains are home to 30 million people, with 350 million more living in adjoining valleys and plains.

The booming population is causing accelerated deforestation; overgrazing by sheep and cattle is causing erosion; and the mountains' peaks are fast becoming rubbish dumps as climbers discard refuse that does not decay in the low temperatures.