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The KTK-BELT project 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 (YPLG), we’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, we are developing Yangshila into the eastern region’s first ‘vertical university.’