Friends of Nature (FON) enhances socio-cultural and environmental conditions through applied research, advocacy and model project interventions
Extending from 1400-3500 meters, the Lower Annapurna Conservation Area provides refuge to over 30 species of mammal including the globally threatened clouded leopard. The area is inhabited by more than 800 households, the majority of whom depend heavily on this forest for harvesting timber, fuel-wood, medicinal plants, livestock herding, and illegal hunting for bush meat. This has led to forest degradation, human-wildlife conflicts, retaliatory killings and forest fires. The project will collaborate with local stakeholders of Madi Rural Municipality to diversify livelihood options (nature guiding, homestay management, clouded leopard envoys, identifying and upgrading eco-tourism sites, upgrading and restoring trekking trails), and reduce human-wildlife conflict (training, predator deterrent kits, fox lights) in order to address the threats to clouded leopard. Working with seven schools, two Conservation Area Management Committees and 4000 local people, EOCA funding will also be used to produce a clouded leopard illustrated booklet, carry out clouded leopard day celebration, capacity building of locals and habitat patrolling to remove snares.