The Monpa communities in Arunachal Pradesh have mobilized themselves around the Community Conserved Area (CCA) model. The work to establish CCA in the forest areas under their jurisdiction was initiated nearly a decade and a half ago and currently there are nine CCAs covering around 1500 sq. km of forest. It all began in Thembang village in West Kameng district when the local community set up the Thembang Bapu CCA on 30 km 2 of forests under their custodianship. Later, this was expanded to cover 635 km 2 encompassing dense forests with snow-capped mountains and high-altitude lakes that provide a secure habitat for threatened species including the red panda and snow leopard. In order to complement and strengthen the forest conservation initiative, community-based tourism (CBT) was introduced in 2009. The CCA Management Committee in Thembang has greatly matured and operates independently. The Community Based Organization was also with a little support from WWF India able to manage and implement a project from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India on marketing their crop produce.
Community leaders and local team members from WWF-India will share insights and learning from the initial processes of CCA establishment and the journey so far.
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