The field experience involves four weeks in Nepal, based at two of the country's most important protected areas; the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) and Chitwan National Park (CNP). ACA is a very extensive and predominantly hill and montane area of some7,630 km2, based around the Annapurna range of mountains. It consists of a variety of natural areas ranging from oak rhododendron and fir forests to high altitude dry grasslands, within which there are many traditional farming communities, predominantly of people of the Gurung and Thakali ethnic groups. CNP is a lowland national park in the terai and in contrast to ACA does not have settlements within it.
Around the perimeters of the park the area is populated by traditional farming communities predominantly of the Tharu ethnic group. These two protected areas therefore contrast in many respects but particularly in the presence and absence of human communities within the areas. They therefore present different challenges for the conservation of biodiversity, requiring different management approaches.