New VDCs proposed


New VDCs within the Kangchenjunga Landscape (KL) have been proposed following consultations in the far-eastern districts of Ilam and Jhapa in Nepal. 

The multi-stakeholder consultations revisited the existing boundaries and proposed new boundary delineation in the two districts of Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI).

The consultations happened during the recent visit of a multidisciplinary team of experts from Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology  (RECAST), and ICIMOD from 28 to 31 August 2013.  

The KLCDI team organized two consultation meetings representing government line departments, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, and the community folks. 

The first meeting was held in Ilam on 29 August, during which the previously proposed 10 VDCs of KL in Ilam were discussed. After a prolonged discussion, the meeting decided to keep these VDCs as such since they form contiguous vegetation with rich biodiversity, wetlands and watershed, important habitats for wildlife including red panda, important bird areas, and also contain important cultural sites. 

The meeting also analyzed the suitability of adding five new VDCs from Ilam for inclusion in the KL to form Ilam’s biological connectivity with Jhapa, a newly proposed district in KL. So from Ilam altogether 15 VDCs were proposed.  

Similar consultation was held in Jhapa on 30 August. The KLCDI team briefed the objective and purpose of the meeting and asked the stakeholders to provide their inputs to include number of VDCs under Kanchenjunga Landscape. The recent elephant-human conflict in Jhapa district was also discussed with most people wanting to include only the elephant conflict area. 

It was extremely difficult to reach a consensus on selecting VDCs for boundary delineation in Jhapa.  However, after repeated clarification some 15 VDCs were considered for inclusion in the KL. The district was formally incorporated in the KL with the aim to resolve the issues of elephant and also to conserve important biological and cultural sites.