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International forum on protection of snow leopard adopts Bishkek Declaration

The international forum on the conservation of the snow leopard, which ended in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, adopted the Bishkek Declaration «Caring for the Snow Leopard and the Mountains — Our Ecological Future».

It reflects the planned actions to preserve the snow leopard — the commitment of the participating countries to the development of the «green» economy, involvement in the protection of local communities with the provision of their means of subsistence. The declaration notes that the threat of extinction of a wild animal due to environmental problems related to climate change, degradation of their habitats, poaching and so on is a serious concern.

The forum participants confirmed that the improvement of national legislation on wildlife protection should be one of the priority in the countries where the leopard lives.

The declaration states that to preserve the snow leopard the countries agreed to take the following actions:

— Initiate scientific work to assess the number of leopards in the world;

— Integrate «smart green infrastructure» into the national policies of countries;

— Establish national and regional databases on illegal trade in wild animals;

— Strengthen the exchange of information to stop poaching and illegal trade in wild animals.

The forum participants called on international financial institutions, environmental agencies and corporations to support the creation of regional funds, projects and national trust funds to finance landscape management plans in snow leopard habitats by 2018.