Rajasthan Royals on Saturday joined hands with The Great People’s Forest of the Eastern Himalayas in a major partnership which will see the inaugural IPL winners backing one of the most significant conservation efforts in the history of South Asia in order to #ManifestTheChange.
The association means this is one of the most innovative partnerships between a world-leading sporting franchise and a major environmental initiative ever undertaken.
The Great People’s Forest is a ground-breaking initiative from Conservation International and the Balipara Foundation of Assam, India which seeks to raise US$1billion, plant 1 billion trees, and restore and protect 1 million hectares of forest across the Eastern Himalayas from the mountains to the mangroves, upon which 1 billion people rely. This ground-breaking partnership will see the team help support and promote the efforts of The Great People’s Forest partners and communities across the North East of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan who are working to protect and restore forests for the benefit of local livelihoods and the planet. The team’s huge international profile will further help efforts to place this connected ecosystem, which is home to one billion people and one twelfth of the world’s biodiversity, on the global agenda as an urgent conservation priority.
Sport as a medium is fundamental to the economy, society and the environment, and with the vision of ‘transforming society through cricket’, the Royals have been committed to fostering a positive change in the country by batting for women-led climate equity and action through their social equity arm – the Royal Rajasthan Foundation. With India’s vision of One Earth, One Goal, One Family, and keeping in mind the ability of sport to positively impact the local, national and global value chain, the franchise aims to continue batting for the adoption of sustainable measures to bring their manifestation of a cleaner, greener and eco-friendly environment to life using sports as a medium by participating in this initiative.
The Rajasthan Royals have pledged vital financial support for this ground-breaking effort, announced today as part of India’s G20 Presidency in New Delhi. As The Great People’s Forest’s founding Outreach Partners, the team and its players will also use their respective platforms to raise awareness of this historic conservation effort with the campaign #ManifestTheChange.
India and Rajasthan Royals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin today shared his personal message of support with the Planet India campaign, highlighting this partnership as one of the climate positive stories across India. He said: “A sustainable tomorrow starts with taking small but impactful steps today, and hence, by joining hands with The Great People’s Forest and Planet India initiatives, Rajasthan Royals are on a mission to #ManifestTheChange that is needed to keep our planet not out.”
The Royal Rajasthan Foundation is committed to conservation which supports sustainable livelihoods, preserves culture and traditions, and leads to enabling empowerment of the community to provide local means of income. Support of this programme also further deepens the Royals connection to the North East after they announced the Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati, as their second home, and hosted the region’s first ever IPL games there earlier this year.
Jake Lush McCrum, Chief Executive Officer, Rajasthan Royals said, “As a franchise, we have championed environmental causes over the years through our Foundation and now we are delighted to take our commitment to sustainability to the next level by supporting ‘The Great People’s Forest of the Eastern Himalayas’. Our aim is to create a legacy of positive impact through our campaign, #ManifestTheChange, wherein we are inviting individuals and communities to be a part of this collective call to action dedicated to preserving the rich natural heritage we have been blessed with.”
Saurav Malhotra, CEO of the Balipara Foundation, said, “India’s G20 Presidency has encouraged us to design this ambitious, creative initiative and we hope to better the lives of the billion people who rely on the land and water of this beautiful region. We are hugely grateful for the support of the Rajasthan Royals who will help raise global awareness of this historic effort.”
Jason Knauf, Global Leadership Fellow, Conservation International, said, “The people of the Eastern Himalayas are some of the most climate vulnerable on our planet, threatened by melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and ever more frequent and more violent storms. But the people of the region are also the ones that have the answers to these great challenges. The Great People’s Forest is their response to this crisis and we are grateful to the Rajasthan Royals for their support for this historic effort.”