Representatives and experts from twelve snow leopard range countries convened in Bangkok on the sidelines of the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP 16) to advance national preparations for the 2013 International Snow Leopard Conservation Forum.
9 March 2013: Representatives and experts from twelve snow leopard range countries convened in Bangkok on the sidelines of the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP 16) to advance national preparations for the 2013 International Snow Leopard Conservation Forum.
Participants discussed the “zero-draft” versions of the National Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Priorities (NSLEPs), which are expected to be the building blocks of the proposed Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP).
The meeting was convened by the World Bank Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) and was attended by range State representatives, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), TRAFFIC and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Members and NGOs of the Snow Leopard Network that also attended included the Snow Leopard Trust, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), WildCRU-Oxford University, Panthera, and the German Society for Nature Conservation (NABU).
The meeting was opened by Bakhtiyar Abdiev, Deputy Minister, State Agency of Environmental Protection and Forestry, Kyrgyzstan. Representatives from the range countries provided presentations on progress made since the preparatory meeting held in December 2012, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as well as on drafts of NSLEPs and the gap analysis. Participants also presented on: gaps in knowledge; assessments of the value of the “snow leopard ecosystem;” conservation actions; and resource mobilization. The World Bank GTI highlighted the potential to mainstream snow leopard activities into broader production landscapes through sustainable forest management and land degradation projects.
Representatives then broke into small groups to discuss the work needed to advance respective “zero-draft” versions of NSLEPs. Some countries highlighted the need for greater technical support to further preparations and meet the 15 May 2013 deadline for submitting a finalized NSLEP.
In closing, participants agreed that a pre-forum working group meeting would re-convene in June 2013. The Snow Leopard Conservation Forum is expected to convene at the end of August 2013. [IISD RS Sources] [World Bank Global Tiger Initiative: Presentation on Snow Leopard Conservation Forum] [World Bank News][GTI CITES CoP 16 webpage]