The CGCT Story

Chandra in blue polo shirt

On September 23, 2006, a tragedy rocked the Himalaya. Many of Nepal’s brightest and best conservationists were killed in a helicopter accident while returning from a landmark ceremony in the shadow of Mt. Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak. They had traveled to this remote corner of northeast Nepal to celebrate the government decision to transfer stewardship of the wildlife, peaks, trails, rivers, forests and immense beauty of this special place to local communities. This remarkable victory for community-based conservation and sustainable economic development was orchestrated by Dr. Chandra Gurung, one of Nepal’s shining stars and visionary heroes who perished along with 23 others in the crash.


Out of this sad loss, a group of Chandra’s friends and colleagues in the United State and Nepal pledged to keep Chandra’s indomitable spirit alive and to continue to spread his message of compassionate conservation to young Nepalis.

The Chandra Gurung Conservation Trust was formed in 2006 as a registered non-profit organization. Its mission is to:

Mentor the next generation of Himalayan leaders in conservation and sustainable development

— Support projects that embrace the vision of Chandra Gurung.

It was created by four Americans who worked closely with Chandra in Nepal for many years and share his vision, guided by a team of veteran conservation and Asia advisors. Read more…