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For close to 50 years, WWF has been operating in the Eastern Himalayas and is uniquely positioned to scale up its conservation work to ensure that the tapestry of life in the region is preserved for generations to come.
WWF believes that by using an integrated approach, biodiversity conservation can be achieved at the same time as improving livelihoods, increasing the integrity of ecosystems, and addressing the impacts of climate change.

By working with governments, communities and industries WWF plans to introduce evolving, integrated conservation measures and solutions that include not only biodiversity conservation, but also natural resource management, sustainable development, and education.

Using this approach WWF plans to tackle the detrimental causes and impacts of climate change, species loss, habitat loss, and unsustainable livelihoods.

The Eastern Himalayas. 
© Murat Selam / WWF Nepal

A massive one in five people on Earth depend on the fresh water that flows from the eastern Himalayas. But it’s a fragile area. Climate change and environmental damage could put the water supplies of more than a billion people under severe strain.

Find out what's at stake and what you can do to keep the Himalayas healthy >>

WWF's milestones in the Eastern Himalayas
  • Initiated 'Project Tiger', securing government commitments to species protection and establishing a network of tiger reserves in India
  • Completed the first-ever translocation of rhinos from Chitwan to Bardia National Park in Nepal, reestablishing their population
  • Created the Annapurna Conservation Area in Nepal - a model of community collaboration in conservation - that funds conservation with revenues from tourism
  • Collaborated with the government of Bhutan to expand environmental protections in the country to 51% of its territory
  • Created the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation - one of the first trust funds of its kind - generating over $30 million for its endowment 
  • Developped Government Strategic plans for the management of Terai Arc and Sacred Himalayan landscapes in Nepal 
  • Managed the handover by the Nepalese government to local communities of the Kachenjunga Conservation Area
  • WWF-India partnered with Assam Forest Department and other NGOs for Indian Rhino Vision 2020 to ensure long term survival of the species

Indian elephant (Elephus Maximus) with mahout in Rapti river, Chitwan National Park, Nepal 
© Parkinson / WWF

Have you heard of the Terai Arc? The name may be unfamiliar to many, but this landscape of mountains, forests and grasslands along the India-Nepal border is home to the most recognizable faces in the animal kingdom: the Bengal tiger, Indian rhino and Asian elephant.

Learn more about our work in India and Nepal and find out what you can do to protect the Terai Arc >>

WWF's vision for the Himalayas

WWF is working closely with the governments and people of Bhutan, India and Nepal to restore and protect ecological processes, reduce the human footprint and support local economies.

WWF will mobilize decision-makers and major stakeholders, from communities to large companies, in the region to implement the following transformational actions:
  • Develop a shared vision and plan between Bhutan, India and Nepal for the conservation and sustainable development of the Eastern Himalayas
  • Secure 7 million hectares of forests, grasslands and wetlands in the Eastern Himalayas
  • Protect threatened animal and plant species and their habitats
  • Ensure the integrity and climate resilience of critical ecosystems

These goals are stepping stones to achieve WWF’s vision for the region:

A harmonious mosaic of healthy, vibrant landscapes providing plentiful resources for people while giving wildlife space and securing the ecological and cultural treasures of the Himalayas.

Endangered species skins in Burma. 
© Adam Oswell / WWF

We work to tackle poaching and the causes behind it on many levels – from training anti-poaching patrols, to campaigning for stronger action against the illegal wildlife trade, to helping local communities benefit from living alongside endangered species through wildlife tourism.

Find out more about what we do to fight poaching and what you can do to help >>

Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas Bhutan 2011
© Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas Bhutan 2011 ©

WWF Goals

  • Climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation will be mainstreamed into the management of river systems.
  • A mosaic of over 7 million hectares of high conservation value forest, grassland and wetland will be secured, connecting 1,500 km of conservation area.
  • Viable populations of iconic and threatened species will be secured and will live in harmony with human communities.