Eastern Himalayas Region

The Eastern Himalayas Region includes Bhutan, northeastern India, and southern, central, and eastern Nepal.

It is home to 163 globally threatened species, including Asia’s three largest herbivores—the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), and the wild water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)—and its largest carnivore, the tiger (Panthera tigris), as well as several large birds such as vultures, adjutant storks, and hornbills.

Previously classified as a region within the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, the Eastern Himalayas Region now stretches across the Indo-Burma Hotspot and Himalaya Hotspot, with the latter being identified as a new hotspot in 2005.

Chronic collection of nontimber forest products; harvest of trees for fuel, fodder, and lumber; and conversion of forests for agriculture contribute to ecosystem degradation and habitat loss throughout the Himalayas. The consequences are especially severe where human population density is high.

Unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade fueled by consistent demand for wildlife products, especially parts of the large species such as tigers, rhinoceros, snow leopards (Uncia uncia), and elephants, has driven these populations to the brink of extinction.

Within the Eastern Himalayas Region, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) aims to strengthen the role of communities and local groups in biodiversity conservation and restoration in key sites and landscapes.

An important component of this strategy is the building of alliances and coalitions among civil society groups to scale up their clout in addressing landscape conservation issues and influencing national policies in favor of biodiversity.

The strategy is underpinned by conservation outcomes – targets against which the success of investments can be measured. These targets are defined at three levels: species (extinctions avoided), sites (areas protected), and landscapes (corridors created). CEPF investments in this region focus on 76 globally threatened species mostly found in 60 sites within five conservation landscapes.

Four strategic funding directions and related investment priorities guide CEPF investments in this region. Each project must be linked to one of the strategic directions to be approved for funding.
  1. Build on existing landscape conservation initiatives to maintain and restore connectivity and to protect wide-ranging threatened species in priority corridors with a particular emphasis on the Bhutan Biological Conservation Complex, Kangchenjunga-Singalila Complex, and North Bank Landscape.
  2. Secure the conservation of priority site outcomes (key biodiversity areas) in the eastern Himalayas with a particular emphasis on the Bhutan Biological Conservation Complex, Kangchenjunga-Singalila Complex, and North Bank Landscape.
  3. Leverage partnerships among donor agencies, civil society, and government institutions to achieve priority biodiversity conservation outcomes over the long term.
  4. Develop a small grants program to safeguard globally threatened species in the eastern Himalayas.
Eastern Himalayas

Investment Priorities
Full Strategy
Project Database for this Region