Over the last three years, we have been building a prototype of what we are calling the 'Vertical University,' which seeks to create a continuous corridor from Koshi Tappu (67 m), one of South Asia's largest aquatic bird sanctuaries, to Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), the 3rd tallest peak in the world, as a place-based conservation and education vessel to safeguard more than 6,000 species of flowering plants and 800 bird species. The idea is to build a continuous forest belt spanning 118 different forest types, from the Terai plains to the high Himalaya, where farmers are teachers and local village settings are integrated into the existing educational curriculum, bridging formal education and the indigenous knowledge held by farmers. We generated more than $200,000 to create a 100-acre land trust in the village of Yangshila, where we have based our office.
Between 1990 and 2005, Nepal lost 1.2 million hectares of forest or one-quarter of its total cover in just 15 years, due to haphazard urbanization, a lack of sustainable economic alternatives, and adverse impacts of climate change.
The $100,000 would go towards creating
1) an interactive educational trail in Sikti forest where hundreds of plant species are tagged
2) an agro-biodiversity seed bank in the village of Rangcha which will safeguard heirloom staple crops
3) a bird conservation area in the village of Dakar
4) the creation of a biodiversity learning pod in Nighure Pakha,
5) the development of a youth workshop for the 'BELT Studio' in Pragati Chowk and other critical outputs for KTK-BELT as it tries to expand in the eastern region.
Last year, after the earthquake, we delivered more than 18,000 tarpaulins and other relief materials to nearly 100,000 earthquake victims from 59 VDCs in Nepal. A silent crisis is now taking place for the world's biodiversity and if we don't do something about it from the grassroots level, using indigenous knowledge, and if we don't find ways to mitigate species loss and educate the public about the value of sustaining biodiversity, our policies, practices, and behaviors will result in the end of the very ecosystems that sustain us.
As someone who has been supportive of our efforts, it would be really helpful if you could personally back the project and also help us get the word out to people that might be interested to support the initiative.
Here is the Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/verticaluniversity/creating-an-8000-meter-vertical-university-in-nepa