Nepali Biodiversity Project In Global Competition
The Koshi Tappu to Kanchanjunga Belt (KTK-BELT) Project launched in 2014 to address environmental deterioration and biodiversity loss in a global biodiversity hotspot in Nepal, is now competing globally to win the Crowd Rise Earth Day Roadmap Climate Challenge 2017.
The KTK-BELT Project, converting the existing biodiversity landscape extending from the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) to Mount Kanchanjunga in East Nepal into a Vertical University, is at second place in the four week global challenge. The challenge involves raising the highest amount of funds in between April 20 to May 18 in order to win an additional USD 100,000. The campaign ‘Creating an 8,000 meter Vertical University in Nepal’, started by Rajeev Goyal and Priyanka Bista of KTK-BELT INC. a non-profit organisation, has raised USD 103, 321 as of 5:30PM ( local time) on Tuesday.
According to Goyal and Bista, the project will catalyse new models of biodiversity conservation and environmental learning in Eastern Nepal to protect the biodiversity hotspot. The project will provide a framework to local farmers to become ‘professors’ at the Vertical University and share their indigenous knowledge while also physically conserving threatened species and landscape, reads the statement from the organisation.
Rajeev Goyal, Co-Founder
The BELT can be a biodiversity time capsule to safeguard the breathtaking species on this planet that are imminently threatened by deleterious practices that put profit over the innate and fundamental value of deep nature.
“One of the most critical elements of the project for us is to build a cohort of young Nepalis- the same Nepalis who would’ve gone abroad as slave labourers, who can become the designers, builders, operators, managers of the Vertical University,” says Bista. The youth working in the project come from different backgrounds: Single mothers, female builders, housewives, former poachers, and educators.”
The eastern region of Nepal is home to one of the world’s 35 global ‘biodiversity hotspots,’ with more than 6,700 species of vascular plants, 180 mammal types, and 800 bird species, including many species that are endemic.
“The BELT can be a biodiversity time capsule to safeguard the breathtaking species on this planet that are imminently threatened by deleterious practices that put profit over the innate and fundamental value of deep nature,” shares Goyal.