The Gandaki zone is home to multiple cultures which are unique in themselves. Some, like the Magar, Gurung, have made themselves famous as Gurkha fighters. Also it is home of Acharyas, descendants of Bhanubhakta Acharya.
Gandaki is divided into 6 districts, listed below with the headquarters in parentheses:
Some of the activities of ACAP are a) Conservation of Resources, b) Community Development, c) Tourism Management and d) Conservation, Education and Extension
ACAP is spread out in 5 districts, of the Western Development Region of Nepal and covers 55 Village Development Committees (VDCs). ACAP is divided into seven unit conservation offices located in the field - Jomsom, Manang, Lho Manthang in the Northern Program section and Bhujung, Lwang, Sikles and Ghandruk in the Southern Program section. While the focus of Jomsom, Manang and Ghandruk, which are also popular areas for trekking, is on integrated tourism management and agro-pastoralism, the programme priorities for Bhujung, Sikles and Lwang are poverty alleviation and integrated agriculture and livestock development, agro-forestry, and community development respectively.
Each Village Development Committee (VDC) is assigned to carry out the responsibilities to manage, utilize and protect all the natural resources within the respective VDCs.
The biological diversity of the Annapurna Region is equally rivaled by its rich cultural diversity. Since the first trekker came to the Annapurna Sanctuary in 1957, the natural and cultural features of ACAP have made it the most popular tourist destination in Nepal, drawing more than 60 per cent of the country's total trekkers. ACAP follows the three grass root philosophy of maximum peoples’ participation, sustainability, and its role as a catalyst (facilitator) whereby the local people are involved in all aspects of the conservation and development processes, both as principal actors and prime beneficiaries.
The Annapurna Conservation Area supports high diversity of flora and fauna species. A total of 1,226 species of plants (including 38 Orchid species and 9 Rhododendron species), 101 species of reptiles and 22 species of amphibians have been recorded in the ACA. The area harbors rare and endangered wildlife species such as the Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Tibetan Argali, Impeyan Pheasant and Tragopan Pheasant. The ACA provides a large protected area with the entire habitat gradient from sub tropical Sal forests to perennial snow in which to maintain the Biodiversity and integrity of the central Himalayas.
The Marsyangdi river basin is in the heart of the ACAP.