The Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP) was established in 1989 and covers 34,480 square kilometres that is home to 90,000 ethnic Tibetans. The conservation programme (QPC) was designed to conserve the Mount Everest ecosystem, improve the livelihoods of the people in and around the reserve and conserve cultural heritage. This paper looks at how QPC supports village level projects that are participatory, conservation friendly and which improve the livelihoods of local people. The author describes how village conservation and development projects are selected by the local communities using a project planning approach that includes Appreciative Planning and Action (APA). A renewable energy project is then examined in more detail: in the village of Labug a micro-hydropower plant was planned and built by QPC and the villagers. Joint responsibility also included finance and the management of the plant. The paper goes on to look at monitoring and evaluation and the lessons learnt from this experience, including what makes this particular intitiative special.