Cooperating Across Borders
- A landscape-level approach implies that snow leopard conservation must be integrated into the larger national development agendas for snow leopard habitats.
- A landscape-level approach also implies that conservation goals are defined and that conservation efforts are also made on land outside the protected area network. The success of such an effort requires multi-sectoral cooperation and effective collaboration between various governmental departments and decision-making bodies.
- Conservation efforts should be intensified within large connected snow leopard landscapes with sustainable breeding populations of snow leopards and their prey and should include restoring degraded habitats and addressing key threats.
- Transboundary and regional cooperation should be enhanced to increase conservation capacity through joint training, developing and sharing resources, and managing transboundary landscapes for conservation.
- Conservation initiatives should take into account economic valuations of snow leopard ecosystems that also demonstrate national benefits (social and economic) of ecosystem conservation, and introduce this information to policy- and opinion- makers across various sectors (e.g., livestock, agricultural, banking, business, industry, national planning commissions, etc.) and the public. Research and pilot testing of schemes that target this issue are urgently needed.
- National and regional cooperation is necessary in order to combat poaching and illegal trade effectively and reduce illicit demand by strengthening national systems of law enforcement, increasing collaboration among countries, and improving reporting of snow leopard crimes to CITES and INTERPOL. Training workshops offered by INTERPOL represent a valuable resource that needs to be targeted strategically for ensuring source, transit, and destination countries are adequately trained and capacity built.
- Developing sustainable conservation and economically-driven interventions—a vital pillar to environmentally sustainable development— also requires that decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are kept informed of the major issues, areas of conflict, and the responsibility of the present generation to hand the next a healthy and vibrant mountain ecosystem in which the snow leopard stands as an apex carnivore and icon of the world’s high-elevation habitats.
- Establishing transboundary nature reserves and World Nature Heritage Sites in snow leopard habitats.
- Development and implementation of inter-governmental strategies and programs for conservation of snow leopard and other endangered species in transboundary areas.
- Development of inter-governmental agreements on keeping important migration corridors of snow leopard and mountain ungulates free of border fences.
- Improve inter-governmental collaboration among customs services to combat illegal wildlife trade and smuggling.
These principles are addressed under the themes of the Bishkek Declaration related to managing habitat and prey, combatting illegal trade, transboundary management and enforcement, and building awareness.