Kanchanjunga Conservation Area (KCA) spread over 2035 sq. km. in Taplejung district, lies in the northeast corner of Nepal. It is named after Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m) – second highest mountain in Nepal and the third highest in the world. Taplejung district is also renowned for high peaks (eleven peaks higher that 7,000 m) and glaciers. The conservation area with unique mountain ecosystems is envisioned as a tri-national peace park with Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China to the north and Sikkim, India, in the east. Sikkim already has Khangchenzonga National Park adjoining Kanchenjunga Conservation Area whereas the extension of Qomolungma Nature Reserve in TAR, to cover the land bordering Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, is in progress. In April 1997, Government of Nepal declared Kanchenjunga region as a Gift to the Earth as part of WWF’s Living Planet Campaign 2000. Kanchenjunga was designated as a conservation area in March 1998.
Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is a home to wildlife species such as snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, goral, blue sheep, serow and common leopard. Himalayan larch and extensive juniper forests found here are unique to this part of Nepal.
The region has a mosaic of ethnic groups. The religious sites (temples and monasteries) in the area attest to Kanchenjunga’s rich cultural heritage. Local people combine agriculture, pastoralism and trade to subsist.