The Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic, His Excellency Melis Turgunbaev, addressed the participants and partners of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. He underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in protecting this unique species and its habitat.

“The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) exemplifies excellent intergovernmental cooperation in wildlife conservation and an indicator of Kyrgyzstan’s progressive approach to biodiversity and natural heritage conservation through global partnership.

Initiated by the Kyrgyz Republic and backed by 12 participating countries, the GSLEP was endorsed at the First Global Forum on Snow Leopard Conservation in Bishkek in 2013. Since then, GSLEP has not only united the 12 snow leopard range countries but also brought together international organizations, the scientific community, local communities, and the private sector around a common goal: to safeguard the snow leopard and its ecosystems.

Over the past decade, GSLEP has achieved remarkable results. As a platform fostering collaboration between governments, conservation organizations, scientists, and other stakeholders, the programme has made significant contributions to the conservation of snow leopards and their mountain ecosystems in Asia. The programme’s recent recognition with the BBVA Foundation’sWorldwide Award for Biodiversity Conservation further underscores its accomplishments and the importance of its conservation projects.

On behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology, and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic, I wish to express our gratitude to the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Conservation Programme. This programme has made a substantial contribution to the conservation of the snow leopard and its vulnerable ecosystems. It has played a crucial role in ensuring the survival of this magnificent species, which holds great significance for the Kyrgyz Republic and the entire global community.

The Kyrgyz Republic acknowledges the immense ecological and cultural value of snow leopards. These majestic big cats not only symbolize our country’s natural heritage but also play a pivotal role in maintaining the delicate balance of mountain ecosystems. As a country that is home to snow leopards, the Kyrgyz Republic is fully committed to ensuring their long-term survival and preserving their habitats.

In conclusion, the GSLEP promotes international cooperation and resource mobilization for conservation. The Kyrgyz Republic takes pride in having played an active role in establishing and supporting this programme. We remain committed to the goals of the GSLEP and to ensuring the long-term survival of snow leopards in our country and beyond. We urge all stakeholders to continue their efforts to conserve this remarkable animal and its valuable mountain ecosystems. We are confident that the GSLEP is an effective and important mechanism for achieving this goal, as well as promoting peace, cooperation, and development in the region.”