Expert consultation to develop transboundary management of the Kangchenjunga Landscape

An Expert Consultation on Transboundary Biodiversity Management in the Kangchenjunga Landscape, organized by ICIMOD and hosted by GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, was held in Gangtok, Sikkim, India, 16–18 August. The consultation brought together about 40 participants from Bhutan, India, and Nepal to discuss and agree upon strategies to strengthen regional cooperation for the transboundary management of the Kangchenjunga Landscape. 

During the consultation, senior government officials, academicians, and experts from the three countries developed a road map for regional collaborative work, including plans to develop biodiversity corridors by connecting protected areas already established within the landscape. This will facilitate species migration and adaptation to climate change; enhance ecosystem services and the flow of benefits to local communities; and help countries address cross border issues such as poaching, overgrazing, forest fires, and the spread of livestock diseases. 

During the consultation, the participants agreed that ICIMOD will lead the participatory and consultative process in preparation of the regional transboundary initiative during the next 18 months. All three countries have given their full commitment to the initial phase of the initiative including the preparation of feasibility studies, conservation strategies, comprehensive environmental monitoring strategies, and the regional cooperation framework.

Kangchenjunga Landscape, which is located in adjacent parts of western Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling in India, and eastern Nepal and centred around Mount Kangchenjunga, is both culturally unique and biodiversity rich. This mountain landscape is one of several areas in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, like the Kailash Sacred Landscape, that require countries to work together to conserve its resources and manage its biodiversity.