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Snow Leopard Landscapes

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About the conservation of large "snow leopard landscapes" in the Tibetan Plateau region and Central Asia, through partnership with local communities. Presented in special session on "integrative conservation" at the Mountain Futures 2016 conference held in Kunming, China, on March 1-4, 2016; organised by ICRAF.

Published in: Environment
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Snow Leopard Landscapes

  1. 1. Snow Leopard Landscape Conservation Partnering with Local Communities in Western China and Central Asia for Conservation & Development DR J MARC FOGGIN MOUNTAIN SOCIETIES RESEARCH INSTITUTE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ASIA
  2. 2. In the Yangtze Headwaters…  Project work has included education (tent schools), health care (doctor training, village clinics), poverty alleviation (coops, tourism), as well as conservation  Genuine partnership implies a two-way street, including communities’ interests and concerns (not only engaging them to help us implement our conservation agenda)  Plateau Perspectives has worked in this region for nearly 20 years, working with many stakeholders
  3. 3. Tibet Autonomous Region Under Golmud Administration Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Tsonub Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Dechen Tibetan AP Mili Tibetan AC Kartse Tibetan AP Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang AP Tsojang Tibetan AP Tsolho Tibetan AP Golog Tibetan AP Pari TibetanAC Haidong Prefecture Kanlho Tibetan AP Malho Tibatan AP Xining City and District T I B E T A U T O N O M O U S R E G I O N Q I N G H A I G A N S U Y U N N A N S I C H U A N China India Kazakhstan Mongolia Myanmar Thailand Pakistan Nepal Philippines South Korea Area of detail Kilometers 0 2,000 Russia Source: Boundary (Marshall and Cooke, Tibet Outside the TAR, 1997) Satellite Image (NASA), 2004©Tsering Wangyal Shawa, Princeton University, 2008 Location Map TIBET Lhasa Miles0 150 300 Kilometers0 200 400 X I N J I A N G I N N E R M O N G O L I A NINGXIA AP Autonomous Prefecture AC Autonomous County Provincial Boundary Tibetan Cultural Area Tibetan Plateau • Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) • Qinghai Province • Gansu Province • Sichuan Province • Yunnan Province Sanjiangyuan Region Project area Ecosystem services are delivered downstream, from the Tibetan plateau region to the entire country
  4. 4. Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve  Ecosystem services are delivered from the Tibetan plateau region to the entire country – downstream  Local communities resident inside reserve boundaries  18 conservation areas, with 3 management zones  How to incorporate local knowledge into monitoring, planning, implementation?
  5. 5. Co-management approach  Building on initiatives that pre-date SNNR  Translating ‘traditional’ and local knowledge into ‘scientific’ language, and incorporating into plans  Providing training and capacity building, increasing awareness of partners’ interests, knowledge, capacities  Community wardens and SNNR chose to focus attention on a focal species (snow leopard) to trial the viability and the cost-effectiveness of co-management
  6. 6. Snow leopard monitoring  Seasonal transect surveys by wardens (several wildlife species) incorporated into SNNR’s standard operations  Camera traps used to demonstrate gains of partnership  Finding: one of the world’s highest snow leopard densities found in local mountain range; leading to further wildlife research by Chinese universities and other organizations  However, depth and breadth of initial partnership difficult to replicate –requiring time and commitment beyond conservation per se
  7. 7. Scaling up the initial success  Co-management approach scaled up – from initial trial to provincial PA network (Qinghai Forestry Department)  Approach integrated into the GEF/UNDP suite of projects  Increasing recognition by NGOs and international bodies such as IUCN, also government and policy makers, that conservation partnerships must consider both improved livelihoods and enhanced biodiversity  Key challenge will be inter-sectoral dialogue and collaboration, and the sharing of information and resources
  8. 8. Highlands of Central Asia
  9. 9. GSLEP Initiative  Snow Leopard Landscapes identified under the GSLEP program in 12 snow leopard range state countries  As each landscape is unique in character, defined by cultures, geography, politics and socioeconomics – each needs specific interventions, i.e. tailored conservation management plans  GSLEP Secretariat anticipates that by the end of 2016, most landscapes will have functional management plans ready
  10. 10. 23 Snow Leopard Landscapes However some gaps remain, including a lack of SLLs on the Tibetan Plateau
  11. 11. Community efforts in Central Asia  For example, 5-6 community conservancies in Tajikistan, drawing together wildlife monitoring (argali, ibex; snow leopard prey), hunting quotas, trophy revenue, tourism  Transboundary project: the Karakoram-Wakhan-Pamir Landscape Initiative (KWPLI) coordinated by ICIMOD, partners including University of Central Asia © Munavvar Alidodov  CEPF initiative to profile the ‘Mountains of Central Asia’ biodiversity hotspot and develop a long-term investment strategy for conservation
  12. 12. Contact information Mountain Societies Research Institute msri.ucentralasia.org Dr J Marc Foggin Associate Director, MSRI marc.foggin@ucentralasia.org

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