Regional Technical Meeting on ‘Conservation and Development Strategy’ and ‘Regional Cooperation Framework’ for Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative

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In recent years, to more effectively address the growing threats to biodiversity conservation, the management of protected areas has evolved from a species-based conservation approach to a holistic landscape approach with a focus on people’s participation. Thus, conservation across the larger landscape involves integration of many global conventions and directives, as well as cooperation at various levels. The Kangchenjunga Landscape (KL) situated in Bhutan, India and Nepal, is one of the seven transboundary landscapes identified by ICIMOD and its partners in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI) is a transboundary program that was launched in 2012. 

The KL is a dynamic region with diverse geographical settings, rich biological diversity and unique socio-cultural milieu. Recognizing its regional and global significance, the Governments of Bhutan, India and Nepal agreed to a long-term transboundary collaboration to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the landscape. The three respective governments nominated collaborating partner institutions in their countries as nodal agencies: Wildlife Conservation Division of the Department of Forest and Park Services in Bhutan; GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) and Forest Departments of West Bengal and Sikkim in India; and the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MFSC) and Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST) of Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Currently, the KL partner institutions and ICIMOD are in various stages of preparing three crucial documents for KLCDI: Feasibility Assessment Reports (FAR), Conservation and Development Strategies (CDS), and the Regional Cooperation Framework (RCF). These are the guiding documents that will strengthen collaboration among the three KL member countries, ICIMOD and partner institutions to collectively achieve the goal and objectives identified for KLCDI, and to add value to individual country level efforts in sustaining ecological integrity and livelihood co-benefits within the landscape.

In this context, ICIMOD in collaboration with GBPIHED and Forest Departments of West Bengal and Sikkim in India, is organizing a two-day regional technical meeting to be held in Chalsa, India. This meeting is designed for technical experts of the nodal agencies who are engaged in the preparation of FAR, CDS and RCF for KLCDI. These documents will serve as the basis for preparing the Program Documents, including impact pathways and monitoring and evaluation plans, for KLCDI.


Objectives

This regional technical meeting will bring together technical experts from the nodal agencies of the KL member countries, policy makers from related government institutions, and conservation and development practitioners to discuss the final draft of the “Conservation and Development Strategies” prepared by the member countries and to finalize the elements/content of the "Regional Cooperation Framework" for KLCDI. The respective country documents will be synthesized to prepare the Program Document for KLCDI.

The specific objectives of the meeting are to: 

  • Provide a platform to technical experts of the nodal institutions to make presentations on country level ‘Conservation and Development Strategy’ and to share and learn from each other about country specific conservation and development issues.
  • Discuss and finalize the content of the draft "Regional Cooperation Framework" for KLCDI and to process the document for finalization by the member countries.
  • Foster cooperation, partnership and networking at the regional level among technical experts to address transboundary issues in the KL.

Expected Outputs 

  • Final country level draft ‘Conservation and Development Strategy’ and an opportunity to share and learn from each other about country specific conservation and development issues
  • Final content/elements of KLCDI Regional Cooperation Framework to process for finalization by focal institutions in each member country
  • Enhanced awareness and institutional capacities to foster transboundary cooperation for joint action plans to address major conservation and development issues in the KL.
Participants 

Altogether 25 participants, seven from three countries (Nepal, India and Bhutan) and four from ICIMOD, will participate in the meeting. Participants will include technical experts from partner institutions engaged in the preparation of the FAR, CDS and RCF, as well as policy makers from relevant government institutions within the Kangchenjunga Landscape.

ICIMOD will facilitate and coordinate the meeting with support from GBPIHED and Department of Forests, West Bengal and Sikkim. All financial implications will be dealt by ICIMOD.