Annual Report 2015: Capacity building

Local Council Established to Improve Protected Area Management in  the Kailash Sacred Landscape

Api Nampa Conservation Area (ANCA) is a protected area in the far northwest corner of Nepal, bordering India and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. It lies within the Kailash Sacred Landscape and is home to species that include snow leopards, blue sheep, and grey wolves. It’s Nepal’s newest community-led conservation area, and from a global and regional perspective it’s a pioneering effort to manage biodiversity by defining the landscape through ecosystems, an approach encouraged by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Local people are leading its management through the ANCA Management Council, which includes elected representatives from villages within the nearly 2,000 square kilometre area. To prepare for the council’s formation, local opinion leaders, including community activists and journalists, were taken on exposure visits to Annapurna Conservation Area and elsewhere to learn the on-the-ground realities of managing and living near protected areas from scholars, scientists, women’s groups, and others. ICIMOD experts also trekked for 17 days from village to village, meeting the people living within ANCA and building consensus.

The ANCA Management Council has now been elected and the protected area can begin operating with the support and ownership of local people – a crucial factor for the long-term preservation of this fragile mountain ecosystem.