We are community-based and focus on partnering with local non-profit partners in each of our working areas to implement our programs.
We leverage these community-based organizations to produce greater conservation impacts with our funding. We work with one partner in each of our working districts in Nepal; Himali Conservation Forum in Taplejung, Deep Jyoti in Panchthar, and SHAGG in Ilam.
Community-Based Protected Area Development
Through status surveys and baseline research, we identify unprotected red panda habitat with viable populations of 100 individuals or more. We use The Mountain Institute’s Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action methodology and identify forest stewards, whom we call “forest guardians.” These guardians not only conduct awareness-building workshops on red pandas with local villages and schools but also serve as a basis for continuing The Red Panda Network’s baseline research and monitoring and the establishment of community-based protected areas. Using this methodology, we are in the process of establishing our first community-based protected area, the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) Red Panda Protected Forest, in the Panchthar and Ilam districts of eastern Nepal.
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Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Red Panda Protected Forest: The World’s First Protected Area Dedicated to Red Panda
This area is critical not only to the red panda but also to other endangered species such as the clouded leopard and leopard cat, as well as an exceptionally rich avi-faunal diversity. However, this area is most important to red panda because:
1. It contains approximately 25% of Nepal’s red panda population with approximately 100 individuals found in 178 km2 of habitat.
2. The Singhalila ridge red panda population is protected in only half of its range (in India’s Singhalila National Park).