Kangchenjunga Landscape feasibility assessment report

Kangchenjunga Landscape feasibility assessment report

The Kangchenjunga Landscape (KL) is a transboundary landscape that spreads from the Tarai-Duar lowlands of India and Nepal, across the midhills of western Bhutan, northeast India and eastern Nepal, to the high Himalayan region of India and Nepal. The dominant feature in the landscape is Mount Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak at 8,586 m. Kangchenjunga is considered sacred by local communities. The word ‘Kangchenjunga’ is a Sanskrit derivation of the Tibetan name ‘Kangchenzodnga’ (གངས་ཆེན་མཛོད་ལྔ  Kangqênzön'nga), which translates as the ‘Five Treasuries of Great Snow’ (Snow [Rang], Big [Chen], Treasury [Zod], Five [Nga]). Among the Lepcha people, the mountain is known as Chuthing bojetpimgo, while the Kirantis revere it as Sewalungma, i.e., the ‘mountain to which we offer greetings.’

The KL spreads over an area of 25,085.8 sq.km; 56% of the area falls in India, 23% in Bhutan, and 21% in Nepal. Within an aerial distance of 166 km, there is an altitudinal range exceeding 8,000 m that includes five major physiographic zones: the Indo-Gangetic Plains to the south, the Sub-Himalayan and Lower Himalayan Ranges up to 3,000 m, the Greater Himalayan Zone, and the Tibetan Plateau. The northern region of the landscape is dominated by high mountains and glaciers, while the southern part comprises lowlands with high levels of human population pressures.

The report was co-funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nepal.