The Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project success was just one of Chandra’s many impressive accomplishments in his short lifetime. Growing up in a traditional Gurung village nestled in the Annapurna range, Chandra was one of the first members of his tribe to be educated outside Nepal. He earned a PhD in Geography from the University of Hawaii in 1988 and soon returned to Nepal to direct the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). ACAP became a global model for its innovative blend of environmental conservation and community development, and set the standard for protected areas in Nepal and around the world.
He coordinated a sustainable tourism project for the United Nations, chaired the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project and from 1999 to 2006, oversaw country operations for the World Wildlife Fund. His zeal for protecting Nepal’s natural treasures while helping villagers improve their lives earned him global recognition. He received numerous awards including the Order of the Golden Ark from the Netherlands and the Gorkha Dhaksin Bahu from Nepal.
Perhaps most importantly, through his mentoring and inspiring leadership, Chandra empowered an entire generation of young Nepalis to become compassionate stewards of the land and all its inhabitants.