ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 27th Jan, 2017 ) : Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid extended the invitation to host pre summit meeting of Bishkek summit while chairing Global Snow Leopard Steering Committee held in Nepal. The President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambayev proposed to host a Global Snow Leopard Summit and Green Investment Forum in Bishkek on September 7 and 8, 2017, said a press release on Friday. The purpose of the Summit is to energize the progress of GSLEP Program at its mid-point (2013 - 2020), tackle the growing threats to snow leopards and their habitats, and raise financial resources for GSLEP implementation.
The event is expected to help raise resources not only to support implementation of national and global priorities identified by the program, but also to foster integrated development of local economies and conservation of wildlife in Asia's mountain areas. Founded on the principle that to conserve our natural ecosystems and species, we must gain the support of local people, the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) was initiated in the year 2013.
It is championed by the governments of 12 snow leopard range countries, and supported by national and international organizations from across the world. The Steering Committee of the GSLEP Program, comprising of Forest and Environment Ministers (or their designates) of the 12 snow leopard range countries, met on January 20 in Kathmandu Nepal. A two-day long stocktaking workshop on the status of management plans of the GSLEP landscapes, and overall progress of national snow leopard and ecosystem priorities preceded the meeting.
These management plans are expected to be the blueprints of the ambitious goal of the program, secure 20 snow leopard landscapes with viable snow leopard populations by 2020. These landscapes cumulatively cover 500,000 sq km of the snow leopard habitat, and securing these will ensure protection to nearly 25 per cent of the entire snow leopard distribution range. All the 12 snow leopard range countries were represented in the meeting, attended by respective ministers or their designates, that highlighted substantial progress in management planning of the GSLEP landscapes.
Countries that have made particularly rapid progress towards achieving the GSLEP goals pointed out partnerships and decentralization of implementation mechanisms as the main drivers for success. From the countries' reports, four issues have emerged that need immediate attention like resource mobilization, capacity building, illegal wildlife trade and climate change adaptation.