In the last few weeks all outlets of The Bakery Cafe in the valley have reopened their hubs for another year of Treevolution Nepal. Run by The Revolution Project in association with The Bakery Cafe, the project is an afforestation initiative with sustainable goals.
The project is essentially a follow up to last year’s edition of Treevolution Nepal that got a lot of support from a large number of people and was a success. For minimal effort and a small amount, a tree is planted in the participant’s name and a three-year care for the sapling is ensured.
“I personally think this is a great deal,” says Sambriddhi Shrestha, research associate at Whittaker Associates, who signed up for the project promptly after learning about it. As someone who worries about climate change and its repercussions, Shrestha shares she always wanted to “do something about it” but admits to never having taken a step in this regard. “Signing up for this may not seem like a lot but it’s what I have the ability to do right now,” she says.
Brainchild of Ayush Panta and Buddha Bir Tamang, founders of The Revolution Project, Treevolution Nepal is one of the company’s major activities. Treevolution Nepal is basically, as the name implies and the founders assert, making an impact one tree at a time, one person at a time.
The project works in two phases. The first entails visiting numerous schools in the valley and encouraging kids to plant a tree each and take the responsibility of nurturing their sapling. Following the plantation, the team of The Revolution Project gives hourly sessions explaining the need for conservation and emphasizing on the importance of the environment.
Last year, a total of 10 schools were visited and Habitat For Humanity (an international non profit organization focused on improving living conditions) joined hands with The Revolution Project.
Phase two runs parallel to phase one but ends with a larger afforestation program. Interested individuals can sign up for the project at any of The Bakery Cafe outlets by July 2019. All one has to do is drop in their contact details and pay a sum of Rs 110 because that amount is exactly what it costs to plant a tree and take care of it for three years.
In exchange, a plant is planted in your name and The Revolution Project assures a three-year care and nourishment for the sapling, after which the plant can grow itself in natural conditions. Last year the project, launched as an experimental venture, took place in Mulpani, Changunarayan, and Lamatar. An estimated 1500 saplings were planted and these are being tended to even today (and will be for two years more). Following its success, the project is being launched for another round and is set to take place in Mulpani sometime in July this year.
The Revolution Project in itself is a social enterprise that serves to act as a bridge between businesses and their CSR initiatives. Theirs is a strategic approach to CSR and they communicate their ideas with prospective companies. “What we felt was that CSR in Nepal is poorly conducted and without a proper understanding of what’s more urgent. The Revolution Project mediates this. Our enterprise works with a database and we construct a progressive model that focuses on the output,” says Ashish.
The Revolution Project is devoted to working in sectors of community development, education, health, and environment but they heavily lean towards environmental conservation and sustainable measures. “There’s a lot of evidence of climate change so we have to start with something. The Revolution Project is our attempt at mitigating climate change,” adds Ayush.
Besides Treevolution Nepal, they are also researching for alternatives for plastic straws. They are proposing the use of bamboo and metal straws as replacements for the plastic ones. A number of restaurants are a part of this project already.
As for Treevolution Nepal, both Ayush and Buddha expect a greater turnout than last year. “We were just testing the waters last year and we were surprised by the interest. Since we’ve invested more time this year, worked on our social media presence (on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram) and learned a little more of the do’s and don’ts, we’re more confident this time,” says Ayush.
The land on which the plantation is to take place in Mulpani fell prey to sand mining and neglect a few years ago. The entire region is without plantation and the soil has lost its natural content. The organizers plan on layering the land with a fresh coat of extracted soil. The intent is to plan camphor trees because the area is best suited for them.
Roshan Tibreval, a student at Ace Institute of Management, says the whole project seems very convincing. “The organizers have done their share of homework and every minute detail is planned beforehand,” he says adding that as someone who always wanted to do whatever little he could to save the environment he felt like he owed it to the cause to participate.
The Revolution Project closely works with the local community to ensure that the planted saplings get good nourishment. For the Mulpani project this time, they’re working alongside a local youth club who will then take the responsibility of tending to the plants for the next three years.
Samikshya Chhetri, a business student at Islington College, shares her frustrations with the clearly palpable change in temperature. “As students, we have one too many discussions regarding all things wrong in this world. Environmental degradation is one. It would be a monumental waste of opportunity if we didn’t participate in this,” she says.
Founder of The Revolution Project Buddha says that now’s the right time to get started with environmental conservation. He further adds that people with the motivation and the resources must act on a personal and corporate level before it is too late. “We can do this as long as we move forward with a sound plan and set objectives,” he adds. And Treevolution Nepal is exactly that, a sustainable project that aims to bring back greenery in Nepal one tree and person at a time.