Landscape Dynamics Sagamartha National Park, Nepal

Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern and Environmental Management 21: identifying sustainable best practices in mountain regions.
Namche 2008.  Photo A Byers
Namche 2008. Photo A Byers

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The Project

This PhD study is to examine the ongoing landscape transformation in Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park and assess the impacts of such change on selected environmental services (e.g. water provision, protection from hazards). The research aims to provide insight into the underlying drivers of land use and cover change and what this means for the sustainability of the region. In addition, the research findings will generate a portfolio of adaptation strategies, specific to the National Park, capable of informing affected stakeholders of the scenarios for different management trajectories.

Carried out in collaboration with local and international research groups as well as local Sherpas, this research will also contribute to the capacity building of local scholars in the field of land change science. The results will be used by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Conservation, Nepal, and if successful will be used as a model for other mountain protected areas.

Kunde and Khumjung Villages 2009.  R Garrard
Kunde and Khumjung Villages 2009. R Garrard

The Update

This research was successfully carried out by May 2013.  Following its completion, the plan was to take the project forward by producing a film and book to present the perspectives and testimonies of sherpas to decision makers at various levels.

October 2016:  the final paper for the project has been published in the Mountain Research and Development Journal vol 36 no 3.  You can view the paper here.
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We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage