UNDP, international partners launch cross-border initiative to help save the snow leopard
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with other international partners has launched cross-border regional initiative in Bishkek to save the snow leopard.
United Nation’s delegation and Kyrgyzstan discussed snow leopard protection issues and kicked off ecosystem forum in the Ala-Archa state residence near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev received Cihan Sultanoglu, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, on August 23.
Heads of delegations of adjoining countries where snow leopards live are expected to adopt the Bishkek Declaration 2017 “Caring for the snow leopard and mountains — our ecological future.”
The scheme will train wildlife, border and customs agencies in 12 range countries and help them jointly combat the illegal trade in snow leopards, while at the same time boosting the exchange of knowledge on how to best protect the majestic big cat’s habitat.
The scheme will be executed by the Snow Leopard Trust and the Secretariat of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme, based in Bishkek.
“Concrete steps have been taken to strengthen the management of snow leopard habitats, and to improve transboundary collaboration,” said Cihan Sultanoğlu.
Assistant Secretary-General of United Nations, Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS at a large international conference on the topic, “But there is of course much more that needs to be done – the threats remain,” she added.
The International Snow Leopard and its Ecosystem Conservation Forum headed by Kyrgyzstan’s president will convene leaders from all twelve snow leopard range states and international experts. It will aim to galvanize international support for their ambitious plan of securing 20 snow leopard landscapes by the year 2020.
UNDP, with over $48 million in grants from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is already working with governments and partners in nine range countries to promote sustainable land and forest management across a surface area of 17 million hectares, expand protected areas and restore degraded range land.