Establishing Series of Natural Corridors Linking the Protected Areas of Eastern Nepal, Darjeeling-Sikkim of India, and Western Bhutan

TBM Phase I (1 April 2002 – 31 March 2005) focused on developing a multidisciplinary team within ICIMOD and building consensus among the stakeholders to promote transboundary biodiversity management, adopting the Convention on Biological Diversity ecosystem approach. 

The project successfully introduced and implemented the concept of conservation corridors linking the isolated protected areas in the Kangchenjunga Landscape. Series of national and regional level consultations were held to consolidate ideas and information related to the development of conservation corridors and action-oriented management plans. 


Objectives

To develop participatory biodiversity conservation plans for corridors connecting protected areas and adjoining areas of the Kangchnejunga landscapes in the Eastern Himalayas through participatory approaches by countries sharing the area

  • During national and regional consultations, the participating government partners and other stakeholders accepted the concepts of a landscape approach to conservation and connecting protected areas by conservation corridors
  • Six conservation corridors connecting 9 of the 14 protected areas were identified through consultative processes (field appraisal, national and regional consultations).
  • Three draft participatory corridor management plans for each of the six corridors were developed, and 16 action research reports were prepared.
  • The transboundary issues between India and Nepal and the necessity of conservation corridors to connect the isolated protected areas were discussed for the first time at the community, national, and regional levels, and strategies were drawn up to address such issues.

To develop and promote conservation-linked livelihood options based on biodiversity, including ecotourism, in the proposed corridors of the Kangchenjunga Landscape to provide better incomes to local people as an incentive for their action towards conservation

  • Potential income-generating activities that were linked with conservation were identified and incorporated in the participatory planning process of each of the corridors; most of the corridors were found to have ecotourism potential, while in some of them ecotourism was already operational.

To develop and promote strategic policy frameworks in line with national and international conventions for participatory biodiversity management of the Kangchenjunga Landscape, and to incorporate them in the plans of participating regional member countries (Bhutan, India, Nepal)

  • A regional consultation was held to draft the regional cooperation framework, and the draft framework was shared with the partners for their feedback.
  • The project contributed to the development of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape Strategic Plan (SHLSP) through a national consultation and supported the publication of the SHLSP document.
     
  • The project contributed to global biodiversity conservation initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals, World Conservation Congress, World Park Congress, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and documentation for Critical Ecosystem Partnership Funds.

To improved understanding of transboundary biodiversity conservation issues and establish a cohesive network among the three participating countries, and to solicit complementary action by countries sharing the landscape

  • A comprehensive biodiversity database for the Kangchenjunga Landscape and a preliminary database on the protected areas of the HKH region were developed.
  • A strong network of partners at the local, national, and regional levels was established comprising community-based organisations, NGOs, INGOs, and government departments as well as individual experts from various disciplines. The partnership was crucial in building consensus to promote the idea of regional cooperation in the Kangchenjunga Landscape for implementation of regional landscape-level conservation initiatives.