Finding a workable conservation model for high altitude ecosystems

Using traditional protected areas, and other community-based natural resource management tools in Nepal, Pakistan and Tibet.

Hoper Glacier, Central Karakoram National Park , Pakistan

Known as the HKKH Partnership, the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya regional project supports developing capacity to better understand and manage high altitude ecosystems from a systems perspective.  The HKKH Project is focused on three protected areas, namely: Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, the Central KarakoramNational Park (CKNP) in Pakistan and Qomolangma Nature Preserve in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. CKNP officially became a national park in 1993 and is Pakistan’s largest protected area, covering over 10,000 km2 and encompassing the world’s largest glacier outside of the Polar Regions.


The project is a multi-country, multi- partner effort aimed at improving the planning and management of mountain resources at local, national and regional levels. The project is implemented by IUCN Pakistan in partnership with Ev-K2-CNR, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Italian NGO Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI). The Regional Protected Areas Programme, Asia, is working closely with the project to develop a new management plan for CKNP and the surrounding community occupied valleys.  


IUCN is working, not only through the HKKH Project partners but also with a wider group of stakeholders including the Northern Area’s government and various projects which have operated in the area for many years.  The challenge has been to find a more flexible conservation model using traditional protected areas, community run protected areas and other community based natural resource management tools.  The work has centred on adding value to these efforts through the development of a management planning framework.  The framework provides a blueprint for developing plans in a participatory manner. 


IUCN is supporting a number of specific activities including the development of a shared vision for the area through innovative scenario planning tools; providing resource baselines through GIS mapping and research; working to coordinate diverse actions and interests in the area; applying new planning and management tools such as Qualitative Systems Analysis and use of IUCN Protected Area Categories in zoning plans.  Work under the HKKH Project will continue through until mid 2009.  Beyond that IUCN’s long standing presence in Northern Areas will ensure continuity and sustainability for the work.

Work area: 
Protected Areas
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