Sustaining Conservation and Community Livelihood Initiatives: Eco-life

© SitherTenzin/WWF Bhutan

Project No.#BT200800
Start Date:1st July 2014
End Date:30thJune 2017
Project Budget: Nu. 53.19 million


About the Project

“Sustaining Conservation and Community Livelihood Initiatives: Eco-life” is a Royal Government-WWF collaborative project being implemented in Bhutan. Project is a pilot to promote terrestrial and freshwater connectivity (North-South) in Chamkar Chu sub-basinthat transcends geographical boundaries of both the protected areas and non-protected areas. Project involves various local and inter-national research and development institutions working in different capacities.

The project aims to achieve long-term conservation of ecosystems, habitats and biodiversity, while encouraging sustainable development and enhancing the resilience of communities in Chamkar Chu sub-basin.



By 2018, the ecosystems of the trans-boundary Chamkhar Chu Basin is ecologically connected, sustainably resourced and well managed.



  • By 2017, the 1.76 million ha of transboundary Chamkhar Chu basin landscape is protected under effective conservation system to provide ecosystem functions to the people. 
  • By 2017, effective integrated management systems have been introduced to address the emerging pressures on Chamkharchu basin.
  • By 2017,80% of the 2 selected communities living within and along the Chamkhar chu sub-basin has  adopted other means of livelihood and renewable energy technologies to sustain their lives with minimal dependence on natural resources.


Project Approach

The project implementation plan is a synthesis of proposed activities based on a consultative process, and national program implementation plan submitted by partner. The project is managed by WWF in close collaboration with Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS), who provide administrative and technical support respectively. WWF responsibility also includes monitoring and evaluation of project. The DoFPS has a pool of Park and Functional Division staff at central and field levels who support the implementation of the project activities. WWF has a contractual agreement with the Royal Government and has institutional responsibilities for developing, funding, implementing and monitoring project in Bhutan.


Geographic coverage of project

The Chamkar Chu river sub-basin spanning 3,160 km² is the part of the larger Manas river basin of Bhutan and runs in north-south directions and drains it waters into the Brahmaputra River in India. This forested Chamkar Chu river sub-basin performs a vital ecological function by stabilizing the structurally weak steep slopes from erosion during the monsoon season. Forested watersheds are also important for sustaining and regulating river flows, an important ecosystem service that sustains local communities, important water infrastructure for economic development and rich biodiversity, including charismatic species such as the tiger, snow leopard, Asiatic elephants, red panda, water buffalos, gaur, takin, blue sheep and several species of hornbills, pheasants and large raptors. Climate induced disasters such as Glacial lake outburst Flood (GLOF) is a potential threat in this sub-sub-basin, and there is an urgent need for sustainable development strategies and management of this sub-sub-basin.



Project is a collaborative effort between WWF and Royal Government. It is facilitated by the GNHC, DoFPS and WWF with financial support from the WWF International. The project’s focal political party is Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.


Implementing Partners

  • Watershed Management Division
  • Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Environment Conservation Research
  • Phrumsingla National Park
  • Zhemgang Forest Division
  • Wildlife Conservation Division
  • Buddshi local community groups
  • Research Equilibrium, UK


Project Technical Director

Ms. Nagdrel Lhamo

WWF Bhutan