PESHAWAR, Nov 26 (APP): Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP), an initiative recognized as a world leader in snow leopard research and conservation with operations throughout Central and South Asia, has received a prestigious International Biodiversity and Conservation Award.

According to a press release issued here on Saturday, the award was received by Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) as a lead programme of GSLEP in recognition of its role in helping create and support a 12-nation cooperation alliance for the conservation of the highly endangered specie.

“The Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) is a first-of-its-kind intergovernmental alliance for the conservation of the snow leopard and its unique ecosystem,” the press release said.

Led by respective Environment Ministers, this alliance provides a cooperation platform for governments, conservationists, scientists, industry, and others to work together for the conservation of snow leopards and their high mountain ecosystems in Asia.

“This award is a watershed moment in the nearly 10-year journey of this remarkable conservation collaboration by 12 governments and various international and national organizations,” says Dr Koustubh Sharma, International Coordinator, GSLEP Secretariat.

“It’s also a fitting recognition of the magnificent snow leopard as a symbol of Asia’s globally important high mountain ecosystems,” he added

“The achievement has also been termed a `moment of pride for member countries, including Pakistan”, said Dr Muhammad Ali Nawaz, Director Snow Leopard Trust (Pakistan).

In his message, Dr Muhammad Ali Nawaz said successful efforts by Global Snow Leopard Alliance for conservation of critically endangered snow leopard was because of the cooperation and support of member countries, including Pakistan.

The government and people of Pakistan extended full support to global efforts for protecting endangered wild species including the most rare, snow leopard, Ali Nawaz added.

Awarding of international Biodiversity and Conservation award to SLT will help in expediting its efforts for protection and safety of snow leopard which is facing numerous challenges for survival and needs a lot of efforts for protection.

It is pertinent to mention here that the snow leopard’s range spans over two million square kilometers and extends across 12 Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan).

Exact numbers are unknown, but it is believed that there may be as few as 4,000 and no more than 6,300 snow leopards left in the wild.

Its habitat provides vital services, including clean water, to a third of the world’s human population.

This specie faces many threats, including illegal hunting, loss of prey, habitat loss, retribution killings for livestock loss, and climate change.

GSLEP was created in 2013 when officials, politicians, and conservationists arrived at a common conservation strategy enshrined in the Bishkek Declaration (2013) to cooperate in the conservation of this specie and its habitat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »