In the 2017 Bishkek Declaration the snow leopard range countries “recognize the need to develop specialized capacity building programs” aimed at conserving snow leopards and their ecosystems. Capacity building is a priority task for the GSLEP program across all thematic areas of conservation.
The GSLEP policy recommendations developed after the 2nd Steering Committee meeting in Kathmandu identify the following specific capacity needs and tasks:
- A need to engage with local universities and provide a framework to be able to systematically estimate and monetize ecosystem services.
- Address the limited capacity to monitor and understand climate change and it’s specific regional and local impacts, including deteriorated or insufficient hydro-meteorological networks and other ageing infrastructure.
- Build capacity to support data collection on climate change by local stakeholders
- Increasing law enforcement capacity against illegal Snow Leopard trade. This may include institutionalised system for delivering regular training to frontline enforcement officials in range states on:
- Intelligence gathering by law enforcement agencies
- Intelligence Networking & Forensics
- Wildlife Crime Investigation
- Identification of parts for customs and relevant government agencies
- Knowledge of local and international laws
5. Build capacity to conduct field surveys across large landscapes, data preparation and analyses.
6. Comprehensive training programs in community-based conservation with broad, interdisciplinary collaborations between conservationists and development practitioners, social scientists, and community partners – to share foundational principles while also providing opportunity to develop locally relevant and viable solutions for conservation.
7. A need for multiple agencies to have joint training in adopting participatory approaches for conservation and sustainable development, and for enforcement.
8. The private sector, with its research and development facilities and institutions can support, accelerate and improve technical skills of the frontline staff as well as other stakeholders to enable professionalization and imparting multi- dimensional knowledge of management, protection and land use planning for landscape conservation.
9. Update, enforce and build capacity for delivering strong, clear and transparent Environmental and Social Impact Assessments.
Building and increasing the capacity of local conservationists in snow leopard range countries and beyond is one of GSLEP’s main objectives. To achieve this, a wide range of training manuals, toolkits and other materials have been produced and made available for download.
GSLEP and partners have developed a set of critical snow leopard research and conservation tools and good practices guides.