Global Snow Leopard Forum Adopts Declaration, International Day

global-snow-leopard23 October 2013: The Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum closed with the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, calling on the twelve range States to intensify snow leopard conservation efforts. The forum saw the adoption of a declaration as well as a day to recognize snow leopard conservation.

During a high-level segment hosted by President Atambayev, the Bishkek Declaration on Snow Leopard Conservation was adopted and October 23 declared as the International Snow Leopard Conservation Day. The Declaration calls for, inter alia, the enhancement of policies and laws that support local communities' roles as stewards and champions of snow leopard conservation; and firm action to stop poaching and the illegal trade of snow leopards and other wildlife through comprehensive legislation and stronger national law-enforcement systems.

Participants met to review the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) and the meeting had two plenary sessions. One plenary session heard presentations on the benefits of transboundary cooperation in snow leopard conservation, focusing on: the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) transboundary conservation initiatives in the Pamir mountains, the CMS Argali Action Plan, as well as CITES and Interpol transboundary enforcement initiatives. The second plenary session highlighted initiatives such as the GEF Small Grants Programme and Panthera and partners-supported work of the local conservancy 'Yoquti Darshay' in the Tajik Wakhan.

The Forum was convened by the President of Kyrgyzstan in partnership with the World Bank Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), the Snow Leopard Trust, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Snow Leopard Network and other partners. [World Bank Press Release] [WWF Press Release] [GEF Press Release] [IISD RS Resources] [CITES Secretary-General video message]