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“Because the project is helping us to improve our lives, we also help them with conservation”: integrated conservation and development in the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal


Müller, U; Gurung, G; Kollmair, M; Müller-Böker, U (2008). “Because the project is helping us to improve our lives, we also help them with conservation”: integrated conservation and development in the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal. In: Haller, T; et al. People, protected areas and global change: participatory conservation in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Bern: NCCR North-South, 363-399.

Abstract

The present case study of the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP), located in the north-eastern corner of Nepal, empirically investigates successes in and obstacles to addressing biodiversity conservation priorities at the same time as local inhabitants’ livelihood needs. The research results indicate an improvement in forest conditions and a perceptible growth of the wildlife population – judging from the increase in crop and livestock
depredations – as well as an enhancement of local people’s livelihoods and the creation of a positive attitude towards conservation among most of them. The challenges that emerged with the project’s success are primarily related to increasing crop and livestock depredations by wildlife, growing expectations among the local people for further livelihood enhancementoriented activities, and a need to enhance the institutional capability of the recently established Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council (KCA-MC) to manage and sustain conservation efforts. Another insight is that factors such as the country’s current political instability and present economic trends affect conservation and livelihood issues more than any
project intervention. Nevertheless, it is imperative to address local livelihood needs while also receiving long-term external support for the conservation of endangered species. This requires a good balancing act, backed up by periodic monitoring, evaluation and research feedback to enhance the learning process.

The present case study of the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP), located in the north-eastern corner of Nepal, empirically investigates successes in and obstacles to addressing biodiversity conservation priorities at the same time as local inhabitants’ livelihood needs. The research results indicate an improvement in forest conditions and a perceptible growth of the wildlife population – judging from the increase in crop and livestock
depredations – as well as an enhancement of local people’s livelihoods and the creation of a positive attitude towards conservation among most of them. The challenges that emerged with the project’s success are primarily related to increasing crop and livestock depredations by wildlife, growing expectations among the local people for further livelihood enhancementoriented activities, and a need to enhance the institutional capability of the recently established Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council (KCA-MC) to manage and sustain conservation efforts. Another insight is that factors such as the country’s current political instability and present economic trends affect conservation and livelihood issues more than any
project intervention. Nevertheless, it is imperative to address local livelihood needs while also receiving long-term external support for the conservation of endangered species. This requires a good balancing act, backed up by periodic monitoring, evaluation and research feedback to enhance the learning process.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 University Research Priority Programs > Asia and Europe
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:30 Jul 2008 08:52
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 13:36
Publisher:NCCR North-South
Series Name:Perspectives / NCCR North-South
Number:3
ISBN:978-3-905835-06-9
Official URL:http://www.nccr-north-south.unibe.ch/document/document.asp?ID=5438&Context=NCCR&refTitle=the+NCCR+North-South&subcon=Pub&SearchText=*&SearchCategory=NCCR+North-South+Publications%3A+Books&submit=Search%21
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?fn=search&mode=Advanced&vid=ZAD&vl%28186672378UI0%29=isbn&vl%281UI0%29=contains&vl%28freeText0%29=978-3-905835-06-9
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2803

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