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Are Governance and Management Effective within Protected Areas of the Kanchenjunga Landscape (Bhutan, India and Nepal)?

  • Sharma, U. R.
  • Chaudhary, S.
  • Oli, K. P.

An assessment was undertaken of the governance and related management effectiveness of four protected areas of the Kanchenjunga landscape shared by Bhutan, India and Nepal, using a simple site level tracking tool. The study was further supported by focus group discussion, a survey of key informants and site visits. The management assessment revealed that protected areas are consistently weak in inputs such as number of staff, equipment, financial provision and infrastructure. The results indicate that management improvements are needed. Khangchendzonga biosphere reserve and Singhalila National Park in India scored 41.98 per cent and 32.44 per cent respectively. Slightly higher, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area of Nepal and Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve of Bhutan scored 67.59 per cent and 58.02 per cent respectively. Weak institutional capacity, depredation by wildlife, livestock grazing and illegal harvesting of resources were identified as threats. Limited participation of local people in decision making and protected area management were seen as major challenges. The findings support the recommendation that efforts should be made to move from a protectionist approach to a community-based conservation approach for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources in the landscape.

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