Help preserve biodiversity and local knowledge in Nepal

Nepal RPCV and Friend of Nepal extraordinaire Rajeev Goyal (N-193) is appealing for support from the Friends of Nepal community on behalf of the nonprofit he co-founded, Kanchenjunga Tappu Koshi Biodiversity Education Land Trust (KTK-Belt), where he currently serves as environmental director.

KTK-Belt is a platform for farmers, teachers, designers and environmentalists working together to build community-based biodiversity conservation strategies for the eastern region of Nepal. Local farmers possess deeply embedded place-based knowledge of their environments and, therefore, have the capacity to steward them. Working directly with a local farmers’ cooperative, Yangshila Permaculture Learning Grounds, they’re working to create a 100-acre community land trust, encompassing 20 different critical ecological habitats spanning the range of 180 to 1950 masl, containing more than 500 native plant species, as a strategy for restoring forests in the eastern region of Nepal and building ‘living classrooms’ to sustain indigenous knowledge. With a focus on habitat conservation, place-based education and sustainable livelihoods diversification, they are developing Yangshila into the eastern region’s first ‘vertical university.’

Now, KTK-Belt is competing with 60 other organizations to raise the most money by May 18. As of May 5, they are in second place with more than $43,213 from more than 150 donors across more than 20 countries. But, if they raise the most money by 1:59 Eastern PM on May 18th, they not only get a $100,000 bonus, but Nepal defines the global roadmap for fighting climate change and forest degradation. Ask yourself this: How powerful would it be if a post-earthquake, post-conflict land-locked LDC showed the world how to fight these massive, pressing issues of our time?

How would KTK-Belt use the $150,000 target?

  • Support for 10 Youth Fellows (18-30 years of age), the next generation of conservation leaders in Nepal ($20 K)
  • Support to 100 BELT Farmers ($15 K)
  • Creation of a Nighure Learning Grounds, which will house 230 endangered plants of the Siwalik foothills ($25 K)
  • Koshi Tappu Learning Grounds as a center to teach ornithology and wetland management ($25 K)
  • Natural Springs revival in Kurule-Tenupa Learning Grounds ($50 K)
  • Outdoor modules to bring young kids into nature ($10 K)
  • Pangolin Conservation through creation of public billboards and awareness-raising ($5 K)


What would they do with the $100,000 bonus?

They would add more youth fellows, implement more Learning Grounds, and create plantations that would yield revenue to self-sustain the Vertical University.

Donations to KTK-Belt made before 1:59 PM Eastern time on May 18 will go towards this competition. Support Rajeev and KTK-Belt here: