After a successful government campaign, Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim became India’s first “mixed” world heritage site — recognized by UNESCO for both its natural and cultural significance. But with key stakeholders left out and environmental issues ignored, some wonder whether the United Nations body should be doing far more due diligence.
SIKKIM, India — At 4,000 meters, the landscape of Dzongri in Khangchendzonga National Park in northeastern Indian state of Sikkim is stunning. The snowy peaks of the Khangchendzonga mountain range peer over steep valleys dotted with lakes and temples. In the spring and autumn, tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the park each year to trek. During the frigid winter and harsh summer monsoon season, however, the landscape becomes hostile and unwelcoming.