Management Plan

Management Plan

Protection and Management Requirements

The GHNPCA is subject to sound legal protection, however, this need to be strengthened to ensure consistent high level protection across all areas. This pertains to the transition of some areas from wildlife sanctuary to national park status. Tirthan and Sainj wildlife sanctuaries are designated in recognition of their ecological and zoological significance and are subject to wildlife management objectives, and a higher level of strict protection is provided to GHNP which is a national park . National parks under the wildlife Protection Act, 1972 provide for strict protection without human disturbance. The GHNPCA boundaries are considered appropriate and effective management regime is in place including an overall management plan and adequate resourcing . The GHNPCA has a buffer zone along its south-western side which correspondences to the 26,560 hac. Ecozone, the area of greatest human population pressure. Continued attention is required to manage sensitive community development issues in this buffer zone and in some parts of the GHNPCA itself. The sensitive resolution of access and use rights by communities is needed to bolster protection as fostering alternative livelihoods which are sympathetic to the conservation of the area. Local communities are engaged in management decisions however more work is needed to fully empower communities and continue to built a strong sense of support and stewardship for the GHNPCA. Included within the property is the Sainj wildlife sanctuary with 120 inhabitants and the Tirthan wildlife sanctuary, which is inhabited but currently subject to traditional grazing. These two sanctuaries open up concerns regarding the impacts of grazing and human settlements. Both these aspects are being actively managed, a process that will need to maintained. The extent and impacts of high pasture grazing in the Tirthan area of the GHNPCA needs to be assessed and grazing phased out as soon as practicable. Other impacts arising from small human settlements within the Sainj area of GHNPCA also need to be addressed as soon as practicable.

GHNPIntrotothePark_Boundaries (click to enlarge)

GHNPIntrotothePark_Boundaries (click to enlarge)

The latest comprehensive Management Plan of Great Himalayan National Park is written by  Shri Ajay Srivatsava, IFS the then Director cum Conservator of Forests GHNP Shamshi for the period April 2010 to 2020. Some points reflecting the concept of management of GHNP are given below:

Planning Perspective & Approach

Planning Perspective-The Elements of Planning Mechanisms:
  • Participation in biodiversity conservation for livelihood needs (especial of rural poor and women)
  • Maintenance as well as enhancement in capacity and assets of the natural resource dependent community though improved natural resource management in buffer (ecozone )  of the GHNP
  • Governance, law and policy coherence to achieve the above.

The Key Issues
  • The unique biological diversity of GHNP.
  • Role of the local forest stakeholders and their socio-economic aspects.
  • New mechanism to set up institutions at village and Park level to manage the biodiversity conservation.
  • The status and adequacy of the ongoing rules, procedures to manage the park’s biodiversity.

Planning Approach

The strategic approach aims at bringing about a change in the relationship between the natural resource base including the park and the immediate and long term livelihood needs of the local communities from the open access arrangement t an increasingly participatory mode of joint management involving all stakeholders. That is when conservation through sustainable use rather than exploitation will begin to pay. Recognizing the fact that the biodiversity conservation is possible only through active support of the local community, there is a need t gain a more informed understanding of the livelihoods of the different stakeholders group and the major influences thar shape them. Such an approach is primarily based on analysis of livelihoods of the local people with a focus on such (poor) people who have been depended upon the Park’s resources. This is also expected to bridge the gap between macro policies (Himachal Pradesh Participatory Forest Management Rules,2001 ) and micro realities ( at the village level ) and vice versa.

A Livelihood Approach for the Biodiversity Conservation at GHNP

The present management plan attempts to relate the biodiversity conservation to the local livelihoods. It provides for strategies, which can facilitate the sustainability of local livelihoods and alleviate poverty. The GHNP model of addressing the local community concerns and e enhance conservation interface through a livelihoods based approach is primarily routed through women’s saving and credit groups and VFDCs. The livelihood are sustainable when they can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance their capacities and assets both now in future, while not undermining the resources base. The livelihood strategy draws upon the Natural Resource ( NR) such as live stock rearing, medicinal plant propagation/collection, Non NR such as petty business, bicycle repair , motor winding and Migration, which may be permanent ( e.g. government work) seasonal ( e.g. construction work in towns)

Goal  and Objectives

The primary goal of management is to link the village level development issues ( local livelihood ) with the conservation of biodiversity at the Great Himalayan National Park. This needs to be done by integrating environmental, social and economic issues into holistic framework based on the livelihoods of the natural resource dependent community, In order to achieve this goal, it is imperative to integrate the functions at two fronts, i.e.

  1. Working with the local communities to reduce their dependencies on the park’s natural resources, and
  2. Interventions to manage monitor and protect the natural habitats and resources.

The Strategies to be Adopted


The strategy at the Great Himalayan National Park needs to be based on the sound principles of participatory management of natural resources wherein active preparations are made to joint decisions about biodiversity conservation by the local communities and the Park administration. It is expected that such efforts of the park staff and community will begin to pay in terms of ecological sustainable economic gains by local villagers, which may lead to the conservation of biodiversity of the protected area.


A zone in an area of specific management category distinguished on account of its objectives. Separate zones need to be created in the first place because some of the management objectives may necessarily be compatible with the objective for accommodating the requirement of grazing of domestic livestock .Two zones of the GHNPCA


This is buffer zone of the GHNP. The Ecozone is an area adjacent to the Park, which contains villages that have historically and some economic dependence on the resources of the land incorporated into the Park. The formal designation of the park boundaries and the resulting loss of these resources have economically impacted these villages. In recognition of this adverse economic impact various programmes have, and are being , developed by the state government of Himachal Pradesh, NGO ‘s and the villagers themselves to create alternative sources of economic well-being . At present Eco zone area has not been legally notified therefore it is necessary that this area be notifies as eco sensitive zone under section 3 of Environmental (Protection) Act.


In order to facilitate the biodiversity conservation, the GHNP of GHNPCA is the core zone or the sanctum sanctorum. It needs to be ensured that there is no stark contrast in resource use pattern immediately outside the boundary of the core. In principle, the resource use pattern should change gradually with increasing distance from the core. The resource use can vary from such as livestock grazing which is consumptive in nature to tourism which is non consumptive but potentially capable of impacts. In its true sense, the core is really a red flag area needing complete protection and just a minimum restorative management intervention to secure its objectives.


Management of Eco-Zone
  • Assess the strengths and assets of the natural resource dependent community members (with an emphasis on the women of poor households) to establish explicit links between the management plan activities and livelihood priorities of these people.
  • Facilitate organizing of sustainable community based organizations, users group of rural poor and women, preferably with strong linkages to the local village councils known as Panchayats. Establish the biodiversity conservation efforts at Panchayat level through the consultative process of micro planning.
  • Develop a capacity building programme for the members of WSCGs, other Users groups and Field staff on the basis of local wise practice and experiential learning especially with reference to the alternative income generation activities. Strengthen the existing ones and   identify the new partnership opportunities between the Park management and the local  community.
  • Improve the identification, appraisal, implementation and evaluation of development or income generation programmes so that they better address the livelihood priorities of the local people and facilitate conservation of the Park’s biodiversity. Reduce/mitigate tensions  between locally identified needs for greater livelihood security and wider concerns about environmental sustainability.
  • Resolving of man – animal conflict with emphasis on social and environmental justice for the poor people living close the GHNP.
  • Competence based training programmes for the GHNPCA staff and the local community and NGOs’.

Management of Core-Zone
  • Maintain the naturalness of large and compact area as representative samples of the Western Himalayan bio geographic zone in its unaltered state to ensure the continuity of evolutionary processes, and environmental services such as adequate quality and flow of water , animal migration, and functions of Gene Pool and Carbon Sink.
  • Maintain and protect the natural vegetation communities, populations of large ungulates( with emphasis on Himalayan Tahr and Musk Deer) and pheasants, especially Western Tragopan and Cheer Pheasant.
  • Provide facilities and opportunities in natural area for purpose of formal and informal education, research and the study and the Long Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM).
  • Provide opportunities for healthy and constructive outdoor recreation for local residents, regional and foreign visitors, and to serve as elements for ecologically sustainable tourism development.
  • Protect and make available (with the consent of the local community) the cultural, historic and archaeological objects, structures and sites for public visitors and research purposes as  elements of the cultural heritage of the GHNP/region.