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Date and time: 11:15-12:45 a.m., December 2, 2023.

Venue: Central Asia Pavilion, Regional Environmental Center of Central Asia (CAREC), BlueZone


The high mountains of Asia, also known as the “third pole of the Earth”, represent unique ecosystems. Included are the world’s 14 highest peaks which are covered by glaciers and span the Himalayas, Hindu Kush, Pamir, Tien Shan, and Altai Mountains, as well as the Tibetan Plateau. This region is one of the most vulnerable to climate change on Earth, with an expected acceleration in the rate of warming being twice that of the Northern Hemisphere average.

Modern glaciation is studied on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic, where there are 9,959 glaciers with a total area of 6,683.9 km.

Glaciers are an important source of freshwater for our country and the whole region of Central Asia. At the same time, climatic changes lead to the reduction of glaciers, depletion of water resources, which is a high risk for life and sustainable development of all Central Asian countries. According to our data, for about 70 years, the area of glaciers in Kyrgyzstan has decreased by 16%, and their number, due to the destruction of large glaciers into separate parts, has increased by 22%. The symbol of healthy mountain ecosystems, both in terms of climate change and biodiversity conservation is the snow leopard living near snowy peaks. The species also symbolizes such ecosystem services as freshwater provisioning and carbon sequestration that benefit billions of people living downstream.

The snow leopard is a symbol of long-term stable development of the region and preservation of high-mountain ecosystems of the Third Pole.

The mountains that serve as snow leopard habitat provide economic opportunities and prospects for attracting green investments aimed at ensuring the sustainability of local communities, and their coexisting with wildlife on grazing and agricultural land.

The world is beginning to realize the vulnerability of the North and South Poles to climate change, but not enough attention has been paid to the retreat of glaciers and snowmelt at the Third Pole, and the related climate disasters requiring urgent action.

The Kyrgyz Republic adheres to the principles of mitigation and adaptation to negative effects of climate change, the prevention of land degradation and the preservation of biodiversity. Kyrgyzstan is an active participant in global wildlife conservation programmes such as the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystems Conservation Programme (GSLEP). Initiated by the Kyrgyz Republic and supported by 12 participating countries, GSLEP received significant support at the First Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum held in Bishkek in 2013. Since then, the programme has become a powerful platform that brings together not only the habitats of the 12 snow leopard countries, but also international organizations, the scientific community, local communities, and the private sector, all under the common goal of saving the snow leopard and its inhabitants.

Kyrgyzstan for more than 20 years has been a consistent driver of integration of mountain issues into international negotiations at all levels, in which it is seen as important to further promote sustainable development of mountain ecosystems in the global agenda, including the UNFCCC. In addition, recognizing the importance of protection of the formation zone for sustainable development and well-being around the world, at the initiative of Kyrgyzstan, with the support of a number of other countries, a UN General Assembly resolution on “Sustainable Mountain Development” was adopted in December 2022.


1. Strengthening of a platform for exchange of views and cooperation between representatives of the countries where snow leopards live, international partners, and societies for the protection and conservation of high mountain systems as a habitat for snow leopards. The participants of the event will be familiarized with the work carried out by the Kyrgyz Republic on the mountain agenda and support of natural ecosystems.

2.Attracting attention of international donor organizations to the problem of wildlife and plant conservation in the context of climate change. Encouragement of ecotourism development, introduction of green economy principles, and expansion of the use of conservation practices that are not harmful to human health and the environment in countries where snow leopards live, including the Kyrgyz Republic.

3. The high-level event will be an opportunity to draw the attention of public and government authorities of the Third Pole countries to the issues of glacier and high- mountain ecosystem conservation. UNFCCC COP 28 participants, including snow leopard range countries, will have a unique opportunity to establish and strengthen partnerships.


1. To highlight the importance of glaciers and mountain ecosystems as sources of life, as well as the key factors in the stable development of the entire region.

2. Gain support at the highest political level to attract green investment for cooperative work to protect and conserve high mountain ecosystems.

3. Link efforts to protect the snow leopard and make it an international symbol of climate resilience at the Earth’s Third Pole.

The expected outcomes of the initiative to strengthen efforts to protect the snow leopard and make it an international symbol of climate resilience at the Earth’s Third Pole cover several key areas:

– Enabling new sustainable mechanisms for international cooperation: This includes providing access to data, information, knowledge and technology through improved mechanisms for information exchange and cooperation between countries.

– Diversifying efforts to protect the snow leopard and making it an international symbol of climate change resilience will help enhance the country’s image as a rule-of- law state that demonstrates an example of sustainable and harmonious development with nature.


I. Event organizers :
● Organizers of the event: Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and

Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic jointly with the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program(GSLEP) with the support of the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

II. Strategic Partner(s):
● Global Environment Facility (GEF) , Snow Leopard Trust (SLT)

II. The working languages

●  English

●  Russian

●  Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

Contact details of the organizers:

– MNRETS – Ms. Gulnara Kenenbaeva,
I.Email:; Tel:.wapp: (996550531014)

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