Bufferzone: a Movie about People

Working together to solve problems, listening to what our neighbors might need and making it our job to help: those are qualities that made us great. But those are qualities we are losing sight of.

While we are not likely to wish for a way of life without modern conveniences, relearning how we fit into a system that includes animals, plants and people in a giant interconnected, biodiverse planet is long over due. This video, which is about how solar is raising the quality of life in an area of Nepal, it is truly about cultures listening, learning and building together. Full video above.

Empower Generation and Empowered By Light are working together to bring solar light to to the rangers and neighboring community in Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This film explores the challenges of living in a stunning place where the wild animals that make the region unique—from tigers to sloth bears to elephants — can attract tourists but can also attack neighboring villages.

Moira Haynes“Remote communities around the world are embracing renewable energy because the benefits are real, immediate and life-changing,” said Moira Hanes, Empowered by Light’s co-founder and board chair. “In Nepal, renewable energy is providing these communities with steady, reliable access to electricity, in many cases for the first time, all while helping to support their critical efforts to protect endangered wildlife and create economic and job opportunities that weren’t there before.”  

To help rural communities thrive without draining the park’s natural resources, this fall’s effort will train 10 local women, whose economic opportunities have traditionally been limited, to sell a range of clean energy technologies such as solar home systems and improved cookstoves.

Inside the park, rangers working to prevent poaching rely on solar power to stay in touch with park authorities and power spotlights that help protect them at night. On a previous visit, Empowered by Light also helped install solar power at tourist towers that allow visitors to stay in the park overnight, generating income for conservation projects and for people-protection efforts designed to minimize conflicts between villagers and wildlife. 

Empowered by Light and Empower Generation are seeking to raise $50,000 to help support the new project, which will assist hard-working people in Nepal in their efforts to:

  • Protect Chitwan National Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site 
  • Protect single-horned Asiatic rhinos and Bengal tigers from poachers
  • Train Nepali women, who have a particularly difficult time securing formal employment, to sell clean energy and start their own businesses 
  • Reduce dependence on dirty and dangerous sources of energy, including diesel generators and kerosene burners that put the community’s health and safety at risk 
  • Kick-start eco-tourism in a place where economic development options are limited

You can help by donating.  Trailer below: