Wednesday 3 March, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, Zijing A

How can protected areas and local groups work in partnership to develop solutions that improve livelihoods and enhance biodiversity, while respecting and safeguarding cultural traditions? What steps can be taken to ensure that the planning and management of protected areas integrate the needs, livelihoods and beliefs of local and indigenous groups? How will climate change impact mountain ecosystems, including water resources, the populations who depend on them, and the resources they provide?

This session will present a number of case studies of community-based as well as regional approaches for integrated conservation and development and the sustainable management of natural resources, such as freshwater. It will discuss climate change impacts on mountain ecosystems, and how these affect water security for mountain communities as well as downstream. Examining their common features and differences may offer insight into the ways in which local communities, government bodies, NGOs, commercial companies and development investors can effectively work together. The session will discuss how successful examples of conservation tackle key issues:

  • The integration of participatory processes and intercultural dialogue into project planning and implementation
  • The relationship between traditional knowledge and practices and scientific data
  • An equitable and sustainable stream of benefits to all parties
  • Respecting cultural and spiritual values in areas where local communities live and work
  • Capturing the benefits of the different tools, knowledge and capabilities held by different actors at different levels
  • Sharing of power and responsibilities between these actors
  • Achieving local ownership and support of projects through incorporating local values and local practices into project design
  • Understanding, adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change on mountain communities, water and ecosystems resources


  • Li Li (Yunnan University of Finance and Economics): Snub nose monkey, parks and people in northwest Yunnan, China
  • Marc Foggin (UCA): Snow leopard landscape conservation in Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia
  • Gongbo Tashi (Plateau perspectives of Canada, Xining Office): Environmental Impacts of Cordyceps sinensis. Harvesting and sustainable community conservation
  • Yusong Wu (Yunnan University): Wetland restoration for linking local livelihood and conservation in Dali, NW Yunnan
  • Tao Che (Chinese Academy of Sciences): Monitoring and modelling of cold region hydrological processes in a high mountain river basin in the upstream area of the Heihe River basin of China.
  • Bill Bleisch (China Exploration and Research Society): Protected areas in northwest Lao PDR: Intersection of wildlife, tourism and watermelons
  • Nakul Chettri (ICIMOD): Transboundary biodiversity conservation in Hindu-Kush Himalayan Region
  • Hans Thulstrup (UNESCO): Mountain Communities, water and ecosystem resources—UNESCO perspectives

Chair: Hans Thulstrup (UNESCO) and Nakul Chettri (ICIMOD)

Rapporteur: ICIMOD