Saving natural wonders in the realm of Kangchenjunga: A “vertical university” and an appeal to mountaineers
An innovative project to preserve the natural splendour and abundance of the hill country between Makalu and Kangchenjunga has gained huge support. In just 26 days a Kickstarter campaign topped the US$100,000 needed to make a reality of a so-called “vertical university” in which indigenous knowledge is harnessed to save forests, promote alternative incomes and stem the exodus of young people from hill villages.
With so much of the attention focused on the aftermath of April 2015 earthquake, it has been easy to overlook that there is a silent crisis occurring for Nepal’s habitats and biological diversity.
Last year, an initial phase of the Koshi Tappu-Kangchenjunga project in the lower hills won the UIAA’s US$5,000 Mountain Protection Award. Now the ambition is to extend the university’s outdoor learning grounds higher towards Kangchenjunga. To do this, US$100,000 had to be raised in 30 days. On 21 February the campaign had succeeded, raising a total $102,594 from 246 backers in more than 20 countries.
Stephen Goodwin 2.3.16
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