Chandra Prasad Gurung

Chandra Gurung was born in the mountain village of Siklesh, the largest Gurung village in what is now Annapurna Conservation Area. Gurung—the general name for the indigenous people of the region as well as his surname—earned a master’s degree in rural development planning from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and a PhD in medical geography from the University of Hawaii in 1988. He specialized in eco-tourism, sustainable development, integrated conservation and development, and protected area management.

Chandra was a pioneer in designing and implementing the first community-based integrated conservation and development project, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). He worked together with Mingma Sherpa on the scouting mission and planning for ACAP and later worked as its second director. This project is regarded worldwide as a success in integrating conservation with sustainable rural development and eco-tourism. Chandra, along with his colleagues, was a pioneer in the proposal and implementation of the Terai Arc Landscape, an ambitious conservation project in the southern plains of Nepal. He also served as member secretary of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation and received awards from the President of Finland, His Majesty Late King Birendra of Nepal, and His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Since July 1999, Chandra served as a country representative for Nepal for the WWF. He was also a visiting professor at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Chandra Prasad Gurung (Necrology). 2006. AAG Newsletter 41(10): 6.