Living landscapes: securing High Conservation Value (HCV) in the south-western Bhutan | WWF

Project No. BT203200

Start Date:1 April 2020

End Date:31 March 2028

Project Budget: EURO 9.7 million

About the project

The project seeks to achieve long term conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services; and contribute towards the country’s sustainable development through securing High Conservation Values (HCVs) in the south-western Bhutan. Through this project the concept of HCVs will be integrated into the national land use planning system.

Objectives

  • To integrate the approach of HCVs into the national land use and planning systems to ensure conservation of HCVs in the areas without legal protection.

  • To ensure sustainable management of natural resources based on scientific management principles in the areas outside the protected areas network system by developing integrated climate-smart management plans for 9 divisional forest offices in the project landscape.

  • By 2028, at least 9 High Conservation Value Areas (HCVAs) are put under management regime.

  • By 2028, the population of indicator species in the project landscapes is secured

  • By 2028, the average annual household income of the target communities has increased by 60%.

Project approach

The core approach of this project is securing High Conservation Value (HCVs) in the south-western Bhutan and its integration into the national land use planning system. By the end of the project period, it is envisaged to have integrated the HCVs approach into national land use zoning guidelines and also national land use policy of Bhutan. Besides, at least 9 High Conservation Value Areas (HCVAs) will be established and managed in the 9 project landscape districts in the south-western Bhutan to ensure long term conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

Through the concept of HCVs, the project aims to contribute towards improving the livelihood and enhance household income of the target communities in the project landscapes. The critical conservation-livelihood challenges such as human-wildlife conflict (HWC) and water related issues will be key areas amongst others that this project will focus on. 

Geographic coverage of the project

The Living Landscape: securing High Conservation Values (HCVs) in south-western Bhutan project covers 9 districts/dzongkhags in the south-western Bhutan, namely Thimphu, Paro, Haa, Samtse, Chukha, Dagana, Tsirang, Sarpang and Zhemgang constituting a total area of 9967.45 km2 (equivalent to 996,745 ha), outside the protected areas and biological corridors. 

These areas are home to rich biodiversity including magnificent species which includes tiger, elephants, red panda and hornbills. These project landscapes are also found to be some of the hotspots of human-wildlife conflicts and prone to other pressures such as forest fires and illegal activities. 

Partners

This project is a collaborative effort between the WWF Bhutan, Tarayana Foundation (National Civil Society Organization) with expertise in rural community livelihood programs and projects, and the Royal Government of Bhutan mainly the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) and the National Land Commission Secretariat (NLCS). The other partners include the Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat (GNHCS) and Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) whose role will be provision of strategic, programmatic and policy interventions.

Implementing partners

  • WWF Bhutan

  • Tarayana Foundation

  • Department of Forests and Park Services

  • National Land Commission Secretariat 

‘This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.’

Project Technical Director

Mr. Younten Phuntsho

yphuntsho@wwfbhutan.org.bt

WWF Bhutan