Environmental Management

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 741–755 | Cite as

Factors Contributing to the Decline of Traditional Practices in Communities from the Gwallek–Kedar area, Kailash Sacred Landscape, Nepal

  • Kishor Atreya
  • Dipesh Pyakurel
  • Krishna Singh Thagunna
  • Laxmi Dutt Bhatta
  • Yadav Uprety
  • Ram Prasad Chaudhary
  • Bishwa Nath Oli
  • Sagar Kumar Rimal


Traditional knowledge and practices are increasingly recognized in the resource conservation and management practices, however are declining in many parts of the world including Nepal. Studies on the inventory of traditional knowledge are available, albeit limited, and empirical analysis of factors contributing to the decline of traditional knowledge are negligible in Nepal. We thus initiated this study in the Nepal part of the Kailash Sacred Landscape to (i) document traditional knowledge and practices on agriculture, forest-based herbal remedy, and genetic resource conservation; and (ii) identify factors contributing to the decline of traditional practices in the communities. Data was collected during September–December 2015 through key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and households survey. The household survey data was used in binary logistic regression analysis to identify factors contributing to the decline of six key traditional practices. The study documented 56 types of traditional practices. The regressions showed that the age of the respondent, distance to the nearest forest, distance to the nearest motorable road, family members’ ill health, and seasonal migration of the household members for jobs significantly influencing to the decline of the particular traditional practices, however, their effects vary within a practice and among the practices. The use of modern medicine, increasing road linkages, decreasing trend of plant resource availability, and agriculture intensification are responsible for the decline of the particular traditional practices. We recommend to recognize their significance in the governing socio-ecological systems and to link the traditional and scientific knowledge systems through policy formulations.


Traditional knowledge Contributing factors Bridging knowledge systems Kailash Sacred Landscape 



This study was undertaken by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)/ Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI). KSLCDI is a joint effort of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal (MoFSC), ICIMOD and RECAST/Tribhuvan University and supported by the GIZ/Germany and DFID/UKAid as well as core funds of ICIMOD contributed by the governments of Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The views and interpretation in this publication are those of the authors and should not be ascribed to MoFSC, ICIMOD, RECAST or their donors. The comment and suggestion from the two anonymous reviewers, especially on the bridging knowledge systems, are highly appreciated.


This study was funded by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)/ Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

267_2018_1009_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (171 kb)
Supplementary File


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB)KathmanduNepal
  2. 2.Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU)ChitwanNepal
  3. 3.Social Awareness and Development Association (SADA)BaitadiNepal
  4. 4.International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)KathmanduNepal
  5. 5.Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST)Tribhuvan UniversityKathmanduNepal
  6. 6.Ministry of Population and EnvironmentSingha DarbarKathmanduNepal
  7. 7.Ministry of Forests and Soil ConservationSingha DarbarKathmanduNepal

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