Kangchenjunga Conservation Area
In an historic event in 2006, the Government of Nepal
handed over the Kangchenjunga
Conservation Area in the northeast corner of Nepal to local communities to ensure the sustainable management of this pristine environment.
This 2,035 km2 area – home to the world’s third highest mountain, Mt Kangchenjunga (8,586m) – is known for its alpine meadows, high-altitude wetlands and glaciers, as well as its rich biodiversity, which includes red pandas
and snow leopards
WWF was instrumental in the creation of the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area and continues to work with local communities to promote the sustainable management of forest resources.
Renewable energy sources
WWF has also worked together with local institutions to commission micro-hydro power plants and distribute solar panels to encourage people to use alternative energy
and, thus, reduce pressure on the surrounding forests.
The introduction of WWF-supported biogas projects in the Terai Arc
Landscape in Nepal is also seen as having the potential to restore degraded forests in critical areas through reducing pressure on the forests for fuel wood as well as brining carbon fund to benefit both biodiversity and local people.
Other conservation partnerships include working with Buddhist Gurus and followers, on mountain spring restoration and high-altitude wetland projects across the Eastern Himalayas.
Bhutan’s Jigme Dorji National Park
is also home to a number of sacred peaks – Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu Drakey – that are a focus for conservation. WWF is also working on conserving sacred areas outside Protected Areas
to ensure habitat and community connectivity.
In the Indian Himalayas, high-altitude wetlands are revered by local communities as sacred, and as such, they are often the sites of religious festivals.
This strong nature-culture bond plays a key role in conserving habitats. Several Conservation Areas managed by communities
have sprung up in north east India.
The sacred groves in Sikkim and in western Arunachal Pradesh
are also being protected by Buddhist monasteries, and despite strong demand on natural resources, still represent healthy stands of forests.