The Bishkek Declaration 2017: Caring For Snow Leopards and Mountains – Our Ecological Future

The draft of the Declaration was finalized by senior officials of snow leopard range countries at the Pre-Forum meeting on 3rd Aug 2017.

It was reviewed and endorsed by the range countries at the Bishkek Forum on August 25th, 2017, under the Chairmanship of the Honorable Minister of Climate Change of Pakistan, Mr. Mushahid Ulla Khan, who also served as Chair of GSLEP Steering Committee, and the Deputy Head of the President’s Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Elvira Sarieva.

August 24-25, 2017, Bishkek

We, the representatives of the Governments of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, custodians of the world’s wild snow leopard population and the most valuable high-mountain ecosystems where they live, have gathered in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic, on August 24-25, 2017 to attend the Second International Forum on Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Conservation. We do hereby reiterate the fundamental principles, objectives and actions pertaining to participatory conservation of snow leopards and high mountain ecosystems of Asia as stated in the Bishkek Declaration 2013.

We do hereby:

Acknowledge in our living planet, the unique presence of the snow leopard, the associated biodiversity, and the human communities dwelling in the high mountains that depend on their ecosystems.

Appreciate the commitment of range countries to green growth and sustainable development, and its promotion through organization of the Green Investment Forum.

Recognize Asia’s mountain ecosystems as a powerful thread that binds and integrates our countries in terms of culture, spirituality and lifestyle, and that the snow leopard is an indicator of a healthy and resilient ecosystem.

Understand that the conservation of the snow leopard must be achieved by securing the involvement, livelihoods, and balanced development of human communities who share the habitat, striving to reconcile economic growth with environmental sustainability.

Endorse the activities of the Steering Committee of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program.

Note that the ever-increasing risks for the endangered snow leopard and its habitat are a matter of serious concern. Environmental problems caused by degradation of habitats, climate change, poaching, and illegal trafficking are the key threats to the survival of the snow leopard and the conservation of its natural habitat.

Reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental goals of an integrated, long-term Global Program for the Conservation of the Snow Leopard and its Ecosystem.

Acknowledge that the protection of snow leopard populations and modernization of national wildlife laws should be among the main priorities of participating countries.

Support the completion of landscape level management plans for the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) landscapes by December 2018, and encourage their implementation to achieve the goal of GSLEP- “Secure at least 20 landscapes by 2020”.

Recognize the need to develop specialized capacity building programs aimed at snow leopard and its ecosystem conservation.

Encourage and support the role of the GSLEP Secretariat and advise to strengthen collaboration with the range countries in leveraging funding opportunities from International Financial Institutions, donors and Corporate Sector for enhancing the implementation of the GSLEP program.

Resolve to strengthen the capacity of the GSLEP Secretariat to play a more effective role globally.

With the aim to address the threats to snow leopard and its habitat, and to strengthen snow leopard conservation across its global distribution, range countries agree to take concrete actions as below:

Intensify conservation and monitoring efforts in snow leopard landscapes and maintain their integrity and connectivity through natural corridors.

Convey serious concerns about the continuing gap in knowledge about snow leopard status and populations and propose to take up scientifically sound initiatives for population assessment of the world’s snow leopards.

Strive to undertake economic valuation of ecosystems, and scientifically estimated biodiversity offsets.

Consider the feasibility of mainstreaming Smart Green Infrastructure in National public policy and call upon International Financial Institutions to create incentives for stimulating investments in green growth agenda.

Note the need for creation of national and regional wildlife crime databases and strengthen regional and bilateral wildlife enforcement networks to effectively share such information and tackle poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Call upon International Financial Institutions, Conservation Partners and Corporations to support the setting up of Regional Funds, Projects and National Trust Funds to finance snow leopard landscape management plans and other conservation actions based on on-going best practices in the range countries by 2018.

We, the Representatives of the Governments of the range countries recognize the uniqueness and the special value of this alliance and partnership by endorsing the Bishkek Declaration 2017 that demonstrates our determination to conserve the snow leopard populations in the wild, and ensure the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the mountain communities.

We express our deep appreciation to the Kyrgyz Republic for hosting the Forum and our gratitude for the support to the Global Environment Facility, the Global Tiger Initiative Council, the German Nature Conservation Union, the Snow Leopard Trust, the United Nations Development Program, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Wildlife Fund and other interested parties.

Download the Bishkek Declaration 2017 as a PDF document