Race to help save the Third Pole begins

UK based charity Pipal Tree has launched a major appeal across outdoor advertising screens to help reverse the effect of climate change in Nepal.

The disaster relief charity is working with out of home media owner Ocean Outdoor in an attempt to raise £125,000 to reforest areas of Nepal, the ninth most affected country in the world by climate change.

The outdoor ad campaign asks people to text small donations of £1 or £3 and audiences are invited to scan a QR which takes them to a fundraising page to find out more.

The goal is to plant one million trees in south east Nepal over the next decade. This appeal centres around the creation of a living memorial forest for the 120,000 Gurkhas who fought alongside Britain in World War II.

Pipal Tree founder and CEO Philip Holmes said: “Nepal is the ninth most impacted country from climate change. We are losing the Third Pole as it’s called. The glaciers in the Himalayas are melting very quickly and temperature rises are two to four times the world average. A catastrophe is looming in this area, but at the end of the day we are all in the same boat. The environment is the biggest challenge for all of us.

“Our campaign will support the planting of 110,000 saplings, one for each Gurkha solider who served in the Second World War. By creating this living memorial, we will repay a debt to those bravest of the brave who helped us overcome an earlier existential threat.”

The Pipal trees and other fruit bearing native species will enhance carbon capture and create a wildlife corridor along the banks of an exposed river, a migratory route for the wild elephant population which is rapidly dwindling. The charity is using a new reforestation rapid growth technique developed in Japan. The Miyawaki method is one of the fastest methods of creating tree cover quickly and will benefit local communities and farmers.

Pipal Tree aims to introduce Nepal’s first eco-camps which can be used by gap year students, schools and colleges to stay near to the forest and get involved in community projects. Income from eco-tourism will help the forest to become self-funding, allowing more trees to be planted in the future.

Ocean Outdoor chief marketing officer Richard Malton said: “Philip has worked in Nepal for more than 20 years, most recently in disaster relief and now reforestation. Ocean staff voted to support this project as part of our Drops in the Ocean sustainability programme. Times are tough and money is tight, but if we can inspire 125,000 people to donate one pound, we will be making a real difference in the fight against climate change.”

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