The King Mahendra Trust
for Nature Conservation (KMTNC)
Established in 1982, the King Mahendra Trust
for Nature Conservation (KMTNC) is named after
the late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.
The Trust is mandated as an autonomous, non-profit,
and non-governmental organization to work in
the field of nature conservation.
For over three decades, KMTNC has
successfully undertaken over 100 small and large
projects on nature conservation, biodiversity
protection, and sustainable rural development.
The Trust focus on holistic and integrated conservation
and development programs with the participatory
involvement of local people. The programs undertaken
by the Trust are divided into three geographical
areas – the Mountain Program with the
focus on the mid-hills and high mountains, the
Terai Environmental Program focusing on the
lowland Terai, and the Kathmandu Valley. The
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and
the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP)
are two major projects in the mountain environment.
Likewise, the Trust activities in the lowland
Terai are in and around Chitwan National Park , Royal Bardia National Park and Royal
Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. The only project
of the Trust in Kathmandu Valley is the management
of the Central Zoo.
The Annapurna Conservation Area
(ACA) contains some of the world's highest peaks
(> 8,000m), the world's deepest valley -
the Kali Gandaki Valley, Nepal's largest protected
area (7,629 km2), and Nepal's most popular trekking
destination with over 50,000 annual visitors.
Of all protected areas in Nepal, different areas
within Annapurna receive both highest and lowest
average rainfall (5,600 - 400mm).
Within the altitudinal range of
1,000 - 8,000m, ACA has an entire habitat gradient
from sub tropical sal forest to perennial snow
harboring 22 different forest types with 1,226
plant species including 55 endemics. About 101
species of mammals including many rare and endangered
species like snow leopard, musk deer, Tibetan
argali, and Tibetan wolf are found. Of 478 species
of birds that are found in Annapurna, 38 breeding
species belong to a group that are at risk in
Nepal. The Kali Gandaki River is a major divide
for bird distributions where species typical
to both east and west Nepal occur. Also, Annapurna
is the only protected area in Nepal where all
6 Himalayan pheasants of Nepal, are found,
1. Annapurna Conservation
The project launched in 1986 as
a pilot program, the objective of the Annapurna
Conservation Area Project is to integrate the
biodiversity conservation and community. ACAP
is the first protected area that has allowed
local residents to live within the boundaries
and maintain their traditional rights and access
to the use of natural resources.
The Annapurna Conservation Area
Project has completed the preparation of the
Management Plan. The Plan focuses on building
local institutions to carry out ACAP's activities.
Moreover, it focuses on the withdrawal of the
King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation
in the future. Local people themselves will
mange ACA with minimal interventions from the
government or NGOs such as the KMTNC. With the
application of participatory approach, the main
ACAP activities include natural resources conservation
program, conservation and extension program,
sustainable community development program, alternative
energy program, and agricultural development
program. Other areas of focus include programs
such as livestock development, sustainable tourism
management, motivating women in conservation
and development, cultural heritage conservation,
and reproductive health.