How We Work – Approach

A mother and child from Langu, Nepal

 

Making use of sound science involving people through a fully participatory engagement process that values traditional knowledge and employing proven survey techniques are all vital to reliably identifying snow leopard hotspots and the habitat capable of sustaining a core population, as well as teasing out the underlying threats. These communities are the front line in preserving the biodiversity of Central Asia’s high mountains. We recognize and appreciate the unique opinions and ideas of each individual and each community, while they help us to determine the key factors threatening the cat, its prey and its habitat. We offer material support and planning assistance in exchange for a community’s agreement to assume the primary responsibility for protecting snow leopards and other wildlife.

We facilitate grassroots action to address the conflicts between snow leopards and the people who share their habitat. We help communities to better manage their livestock and protect it from snow leopards.

We work with local partners to provide needed technical assistance, grants and incentives for community-based activities, linked to specific stewardship and biodiversity conservation commitments, and designed to maximize community “ownership,” long-term self-reliance, and ecosystem health.

Program Objectives

  • Reduce livestock depredation by predator-proofing corrals, educating herders and improving animal husbandry practices
  • Closely link snow leopard and biodiversity conservation with initiatives aimed at improving household incomes in environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable ways
  • Increase environmental awareness and understanding of the fragile mountain ecosystem, through innovative, cost-effective outreach initiatives
  • Conduct non-invasive baseline research on snow leopards, their prey and habitat, blending scientific information with local knowledge

Some Examples of our Collaborative Activities

  • Predator-proofing traditional stone livestock pens;
  • Education of herders on improved animal husbandry and guarding practices for avoiding or reducing depredation, including awards for exemplary herders;
  • Livestock insurance programs;
  • Development of eco-tourism opportunities, including trekking services, nature guiding, and traditional village homestays;
  • School based, interactive conservation education;
  • Protection of natural prey base (patrolling, creation of special wildlife areas, livestock-free blue sheep wintering areas, etc.)

For more information about community collaboration using a process called APPA, Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action, please see this page.

Currently, SLC and its partners are working in seven range countries in Central Asia: India, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Bhutan and Kazakhstan.