Meeting projects climate change impacts on snow leopard

MONITORING REPORT ISB: The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP), a joint initiative by all 12 Central and South Asian, that are home to this endangered big cat, held a meeting in Paris, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21).

The main agenda of the meeting was to highlight the impacts of climate change on snow leopards, their ecosystems and the livelihoods of local villagers residing in snow leopard habitat.

The committees co-chair, Sabir Atadjanov, Director of the State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyzstan, underscored the need for the GSLEP program to link community-based snow leopard conservation, a cornerstone of the programs approach, with efforts to improve climate adaptation capacity in this ecologically fragile region.

John Farrington of WWF US, updated the attendees on how the current, rapid warming in the snow leopards range is affecting glaciers, permafrost, precipitation, water resources, and weather phenomena, which in turn have large consequences for ecosystems, wildlife, and human livelihoods in these areas.

He pointed out that glaciers in snow leopard range areas were already in retreat, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the range.

With a mandate to secure at least 20 landscapes for snow leopards by the year 2020, the GSLEP program is currently in its management-planning phase, where countries specify concrete steps to be taken in order to secure the landscapes theyve identified as priority areas.

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