03 March 2017

Local communities are key steward in protecting wildlife. For the past 25 years, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) has been actively working with the local communities, youth, indigenous peoples and others in conserving threatened and endangered species worldwide.SGP joins the international and local communities in celebrating the World Wildlife Day 2017, with the theme of "Listen to the Young Voices."

SGP has played a key role in establishing an international platform in conserving the endangered Snow Leopard in Kyrgyzstan where SGP provided technical support to establish a secretariat for the conservation of the snow leopard, that now serves thematic needs and ensures coordination with all 12 snow leopard range countries. Jointly with UNDP and other partners, SGP conducted first ever steering committee of the Snow Leopard secretariat that is now the Global Snow Leopard Secretariat, with more vested authorities and status.

Snow Leopard exhibition

SGP also supported a campaign and contest for the protection of the snow leopard in partnership with the State Agency, produced a snow leopard book and an interactive children board game, organized a youth conference on the protection of endangered species in the Issyk-Kul province, supported a flash mob dedicated to the protection of the snow leopard and other red-listed animals of Kyrgyzstan and helped build a public information resource center on protection of the Red-listed animals of Issyk-Kul province.

A training module on the protection of endangered species of animals of Issyk-Kul province was also developed and biodiversity conservation lessons were carried out in the schools of Bishkek city and Issyk-Kul province. Exhibitions dedicated to the snow leopard and the Red-listed mammals of the Kyrgyz Republic were on display at the regional museum in Balykchy town and in Bishkek city. SGP also supported the the establishment of the Snow Leopard Day in October.

To support the long term monitoring of snow leopard population, SGP worked with other organizations that aim to protect the snow leopard (SLT, NABU, Panthera, WWF and others) as well as with representatives of protected areas for the development and implementation of the unified system of the long-term monitoring of the snow leopard’s population in Kyrgyzstan. Through this efforts, SGP provided  the required field equipment and special equipment (camera traps) to collect data on the number of the snow leopard and its food base, and carried out four field expeditions with local scientists and commmunities (to Sarychat - Ertash State Reserve, Naryn State Reserve, natural park "Salkyn Tor" and Karakol Nature Par) to install camera traps and organize a survey during the expedition in order to collect oral and written reports about facts of meetings with snow leopards. To ensure proper use of the equipment, the project develop and publish a manual on how to instal camera traps and monitor the leopards intended for the staff of protection areas.

With the information collected from the field visits and camera traps, it was possible to develop the structure of a unified database that allows long term tracking of this vulnerable population. 

SGP has also supported Snow leopard conservation efforts in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan; and innovative solutions to address human-wildlife conflicts in Nepal, Mongolia and others. These initiatives have mobilized many youth organizations, particularly on awareness raising and concrete actions on the ground.

Related news:

Participation of the Kyrgyz delegation in the international conference http://ru.kabar.kg/index.php/society/full/105365

Installation of the photo traps http://www.gazeta.kg/news/kyrgyzstan/26073-v-gorah-kyrgyzstana-v-ramkah-shirokomasshtabnogo-issledovaniya-ustanovyat-fotolovushki-dlya-podscheta-i-izucheniya-snezhnogo-barsa.html

Flash mob, devoted to Snow leopard day http://www.fergananews.com/news.php?id=24036

Workshop with Interpol http://www.globalsnowleopard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IWT-Workshop-final-press-release_ENG.pdf