Chitwan Annapurna Landscape

 / ©: WWF Nepal
Barpark Village with Bouddha Himal in background, Gorkha.
© WWF Nepal

The Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) falls partly within the Sacred Himalayan Landscape (SHL) that stretches from Bhutan in the east to Nepal’s Kali Gandaki River in the west. CHAL itself is bounded by the Gandaki river basin. It exhibits much scenic beauty, ranging from the rain shadow of the trans-Himalayan area and the snowcapped mountains of Annapurna, Manaslu and Langtang in the north, descending southwards through diverse topography to the mid-hills, Churia range and the flat lowlands of the Terai. It contains seven major sub-river basins: Trishuli, Marsyandi, Seti, Kali Gandaki, Budi Gandaki, Rapti and Narayani.

CHAL has high biodiversity value and rich natural and cultural heritage. It is an important transit route for migratory birds and is home to endangered species like snow leopard, red panda and Himalayan black bear. CHAL has a human population of over four million people, many of whom live in very isolated places with poor access to markets, and who are very dependent on forest resources and ecosystem services for their livelihoods and wellbeing. Tourism is a major economic activity in the region.

In CHAL, the Hariyo Ban Program focuses on implementing an integrated river basin approach at different levels. The Program focuses mainly in the Seti, Marsyangdi and Daraundi river basins, and Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation Areas. There is a major focus on key threat/driver/vulnerability reduction in strategic places in the landscape to promote species and ecosystem conservation, ecological connectivity, and improved human wellbeing. The program also adopts a strategic approach to livelihoods.

The river basin work on CHAL is focused on:
For this river basin, the program is taking a broad approach, focusing on Biodiversity Important Areas (BIAs), river corridors, critical watersheds and climate vulnerable areas; piloting PES mechanisms; and reducing climate vulnerability.

The effort is to restore the basin by addressing threats from infrastructure and other sources in the lower basin; poaching, trade, Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) and forest fire in the upper catchment; piloting PES mechanisms; and reducing climate vulnerability.

The approach for this river basin is to maintain its condition; and reduce threats/drivers/ vulnerabilities including river poisoning, unplanned settlement, drought, flooding, forest fire, HWC, landslides, unsustainable harvest, and encroachment.