Saving snow leopards through spirituality

In Central Asia, the Land of Snow Leopard (LOSL) network uniquely empowers both Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and modern science in community-led conservation. Rooted in indigenous wisdom, it unites over 100 committed members who view themselves as guardians of Mother Earth.

This year, LOSL modified the Nomadic Nature Trunks (NNT) program, a traveling classroom for children. Network Elders and Indigenous Cultural Practitioners (ICPs) enriched the program with spiritual and cultural elements, adapting lessons to honor the cultural significance and historical role snow leopards have in each region.

Alina Zhenishbekova, a founding member of the LOSL Youth Wing and coordinator of the NNT program in Kyrgyzstan, emphasizes the profound influence of incorporating traditional knowledge into environmental education. According to Alina, integration extends beyond acquiring knowledge, it strengthens cultural bonds, promotes mutual respect among participants, and provides invaluable insights into our local ecosystems.

Sacred Site Guardian Zhaparkul Raimbekov imparts traditions and cultural beliefs to a new generation of Kyrgyz children. They will grow up knowing the importance of snow leopards to the heritage of their land.

Join LOSL in championing the inclusion of indigenous knowledge into conservation education and promoting the preservation of cultural and environmental heritage. Safeguarding indigenous voices and wisdom will be critical to connecting youth to their cultural heritage, inspiring the next generation of biodiversity conservationists.