We have exciting news for all snow leopard enthusiasts and conservationists. The President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Honorable Mr. Sadyr Zhaparov, has officially declared the snow leopard as the national symbol of the Kyrgyz Republic. This monumental decision underscores the unique significance and value of this majestic creature for the Kyrgyz people and ecosystem.
“The snow leopard is not only a symbol of natural wealth and cultural prosperity, but also an indicator of the stability and health of the mountain ecosystem, which occupies 1/3 of the global territory. The loss of snow leopards in the wild will lead to the risk of disturbing the fragile ecological balance, which will have a detrimental impact on various animal species and on humans,” the decree states.
In the ancient Kyrgyz culture, the snow leopard was revered as a symbol of greatness, nobility, courage, bravery, and resilience. Legend has it that the leopard was the totem animal of the great Manas. The harmony between man and nature, embodied by the snow leopard, was vividly portrayed in the recent novel “When Mountains Fall” by the globally acclaimed Kyrgyz writer, Chyngyz Aitmatov.
Kyrgyzstan plays an active role in global wildlife conservation initiatives. At the World Snow Leopard Conservation Forum in 2013, the Bishkek Declaration on Snow Leopard Protection was unanimously adopted, and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP) was initiated with the support of representatives from 12 snow leopard range countries and the international environmental community.
The President has directed the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic to acknowledge the snow leopard as a national symbol, safeguard its population and ecosystem, devise a logo and options for symbol usage at various levels, and define its ideological content. Ministries and agencies of the Kyrgyz Republic will henceforth collaborate to promote the snow leopard, organize protective measures, attract green investments, and utilize the symbol in promoting responsible tourism.
It’s worth noting that on International Snow Leopard Day, October 23rd of this year, several environmental protection organizations in the country, including the GSLEP Secretariat, the Snow Leopard Foundation in Kyrgyzstan, the Ilbirs Foundation, and the Kyrgyzstan branch of the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU) had requested to President Sadyr Zhaparov of Kyrgyzstan to designate the snow leopard as a national animal.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to President Sadyr Zhaparov of the Kyrgyz Republic for endorsing our initiative to recognize the snow leopard as a national symbol of the Kyrgyz Republic. This decision highlights the importance and value of this animal and affirms his dedication to biodiversity conservation. We also commend the President’s attention to climate change, melting glaciers, and other environmental issues that are affecting the country’s biodiversity and local communities. His leadership and support in these areas are crucial in preserving the country’s natural heritage and rich biodiversity.
Together, we can ensure wildlife conservation and environmental enhancement go hand in hand with development of the local communities.