Second Regional Consultation Workshop on Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative

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Background

The proposed Kangchenjunga Landscape (KL), situated in the southern slope of Mount Kangchenjunga encompasses parts of eastern Nepal, Indian state of Sikkim, parts of north Bengal and extends to Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve in Bhutan connecting Jigme Dorji National Park. This landscape includes as many as 20 protected areas (PAs) with rich biodiversity making it one of the important areas for biodiversity conservation in the Himalayan region. The Governments of India, Nepal and Bhutan have agreed to collaborate on long term conservation and development of this transboundary landscape to be facilitated by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu. 

The Kanchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI) is an attempt on the part of three member countries (Bhutan, India and Nepal) of Hindu Kush Himalayan region (HKH) to join hands to help preserve the unique biological diversity and ecosystem goods and services, while developing the livelihoods of the local communities at the same time. During 2012, the three participating countries came together in a regional consultation meeting at Gangtok, Sikkim and agreed to collaborate and set the following targets: 

  1. To prepare country wise as well as regional Feasibility Assessment report (FA), Conservation and Development Strategy (CDS), and Comprehensive Environmental Monitoring Plan (CEMP) with a special focus on long term monitoring including conservation and development activities;
  2. Prepare a Regional Cooperation Framework (RCF) for conservation and management of rich biological diversity, cultural heritage, and vital ecosystem services through transboundary ecosystem management and participatory approaches fostering human wellbeing in the landscape; and 
  3. To enhance cooperation among the participating countries with a common goal of conservation and sustainable development within the landscape.
The partner institutions in Bhutan (Wildlife Conservation Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests); India, viz., GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) and Forest Departments of West Bengal and Sikkim; and Nepal i.e., Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST) under Tribhuvan University and Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation are being engaged in developing FA, CDS and CEMP leading to RCF and Implementation Plan for the proposed landscape. As per the agreed Regional Programme Framework, Royal Government of Bhutan in collaboration with ICIMOD is hosting the 2nd Regional Consultation Workshop in Bhutan. 

Objective 

The broad objective of the workshop is to review the findings of the feasibility assessments of the countries, share experiences related to feasibility assessments, deliberate on conservation and development opportunities and constraints in the landscape, and agree on a work plan for additional activities that need to be implemented. The specific objectives of the workshop will be the following:

  • Share, discuss and finalise the boundaries of the target landscapes for each of the countries;
  • Share, review and finalize the country feasibility assessment reports covering social, economic and ecological aspects; 
  • Revisit the draft guidelines and key elements for the preparation of the Conservation and Development Strategy (CDS) and Comprehensive Environmental Monitoring Plan (CEMP) and agree upon a revised approach and timeline;
  • Revisit the work plan and timelines for the implementation of the remaining activities.