Country Profile

Nepal is landlocked between the Tibet Autonomous Region and India. The country contains the greatest altitude variation on Earth, from the lowland plains (Terai) at almost sea-level, to the hills region, and mountain region of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest at 8,848 metres. In fact, Nepal has 8 of the 10 highest mountain peaks in the world!

The dramatic differences in elevation found in Nepal results in a variety of biomes - from tropical savannas, grasslands, and subtropical broadleaf forests to coniferous forests; from montane grasslands, to rock and ice at the highest elevations.

Global Action are one of the first UK organisations to send UK school groups to help with Nepal's post-earthquake recovery. 8 school groups from all parts of the UK, are travelling to Nepal over the next year to help Nepalese communities recover, and bring vital tourism revenue into the country. See our latest news.

Politics and Religion

Nepal has had a monarchy throughout most of its history. However, in 2005 several weeks of protests by all political parties led to the establishment of a multi-party democratic assembly. Hinduism and Buddhism co-exist peacefully in Nepal, to the extent where both religions share some of the same deities and temples. For example, both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims revere the sacred Muktinath temple in the Annapurna mountains (where Global Action treks to).

Development and Climate Change

Nepal, one of the least developing countries, (with a GDP per capita of $US 294), has made significant progress towards eradicating poverty and meeting the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The population below the poverty line has declined from 42% in 1996 to 25% in 2010. Net Primary Enrolment in schools has increased from 81% in 2002 to 94.5% in 2010. According to the World Health Organisation (2012) nutrition and food security are still serious concerns - about half of under-five children are affected by stunting.

Remittances can play a valuable part in family income. Nepal received up to $50 million a year from its renowned Gurkha soldiers who serve in both the British and Indian armies.

Climate variability related to climate change is already having serious impacts such as retreating Himalayan glaciers and reduced rice crops. However, Nepal's potential for hydropower is 100 times its existing use, and if Nepal could export its hydropower to India, it could raise an estimated $2 billion in revenue (UK FCO, 2012).

Nepal's spectacular landscape, diverse religions and rich cultures represent significant tourist potential. Trekking is by far the most popular activity for international visitors, pioneered by a Gurkha officer, Lt. Colonel 'Jimmy' Roberts, in the early 1960s.

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Village in hills
Town building tops

"The community project gave me a huge sense of satisfaction and reminded
me of how little others have, and to appreciate what I do have"

Student, questionnaire