The 2018 International Conference for Snow Leopard Conservation

Since the 2013 Global Snow Leopard Forum, snow leopard range countries and international partners have actively promoted the implementation of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Conservation Plan (GSLEP) and achieved remarkable results. However, this species is still threatened by habitat degradation, climate change, poaching, etc. Insufficient knowledge on its status and population is a roadblock for future conservation efforts.

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Following the 3rd meeting of the Steering Committee Meeting of GSLEP in June 2018, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China (NFGA), National Park Administration (NPA), together with China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, held the next International Conference for Snow Leopard Conservation (ICSC) in Shenzhen, China from September 3rd -7th.

Government representatives, snow leopard conservation scholars from different research areas, and frontline staff were all invited to the conference. They all came from different countries in Central and South Asia (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), where most snow leopards are distributed in.

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Koustubh Sharma, a representative from the Instruction Office of Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP)

The conference aimed to provide a platform for exchanging experience and knowledge to further enhance the academic and political communications between different countries, as well as to promote research on snow leopards conservation.

Another goal of the conference was to reach the “Shenzhen Consensus,” to bring all the governments together to collaborate on snow leopard conservation in the future. “Shenzhen Consensus” has been approved without opposition in the conference on September 5th.

The conference mainly focused on the following topics:

1. The population density and distribution of snow leopards and their preys
2. The threats snow leopards in different countries and areas are currently facing
3. The regular and developing methods used to study snow leopards
4. Interspecies relationships in the habitats of snow leopards and the ecological importance of snow leopards in these ecosystems
5. Species conservation based in local communities
6. Successful examples of snow leopards conservation

Information gathered by Huiyuan Qi, as well as from Dute News

All photos taken by Huiyuan Qi

Translated by Dule and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

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