International Network, Land of Snow Leopard, unites representatives of five regions/nations that harbour snow leopard habitat s: Mongolia, Altai and Buryatia Republics of the Russian Federation, Tadjikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Representatives of this network will participate in International Snow Leopard and its Ecosystem Forum in Bishkek on August 24th – 25th, 2017
The Land of Snow Leopard was founded in 2013 during the first forum on conservation of snow leopards held in Bishkek.
The network members aim to create a link between western science and indigenous knowledge on environement. Indigenous people inhabit mountainous regions and have not lost their own traditions and culture of respectful attitude toward nature and wild animals. There are people in some areas who are still able to “receive” information from their ancestors through shamans, custodians of sacred places and Buddhist monks.
The efforts of the network members open the way for these custodians of traditional culture to participate at the global level to protect snow leopards and their ecosystems. They contribute to monitor wild nature, and to collect data in the form of oral stories shared by the residents of remote mountainous communities. While helping to achiev the Global Program goals, this activity also takes into consideration the needs of local communities.
The members of Land of Snow Leopard apply new technologies for collecting data. The specifically designed application for smartphones and tablets allows users to contribute in two surveys: on wild nature observation and on illegal poaching. The application has been translated into five languages to facilitate the use by residents in the communities of the network members. It is now being tested in pilot fields, and we are training local residents and shepherds on the use this application.
For the indigenous populations, their cultures, traditional stories and legends passed through generations are vital for their survival. Such stories are also the sources of moral and identity which provide information and meanings on their special ceremonies, significant dreams, and unusual coincidences. For instance, there is a story in most of our nations about a man who killed snow leopard and whose family later suffers from a huge tragedy, such as death of a child or loss of income that leads to poverty. Such stories are quite informative as they tell a moral story on the consequences of a person who dares to break a taboo by killing totemic animals.
The members of Land of Snow Leopard believe that a new technology such as smartphones could help unite young and elder generations, since technically competent youth could assist their parents to understand the technology and raise their own interest in collecting stories told by the elders. The collected legends and stories which hold a significant role in child up-bringing could be used in school educational programs in order to contribute to a greater awareness of cultural peculiarities of their own land.
Land of Snow Leopard is actively involved with programmes and acitivites in Mongolia, Altai and Buryatia Republics of the Russian Federation, Tadjikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. For further information please contact coutry coordinators at:
Altai Republic, Russia: Chagat Almashev, firstname.lastname@example.org
Buryatia Republic, Russia: Rinchin Garmaev, email@example.com
Kyrgyzstan: Kuluipa Akmatova, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mongolia: Od Enhtsetseg, email@example.com
Tadjikistan: Kurbonali Alamshoev, firstname.lastname@example.org