Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Program (GSLEP)
4th Nov, 2019
On October 22nd 2019, India for the first time held the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) at Delhi, under the aegis of ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF).
The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP):
- It seeks to address high-mountain development issues using the conservation of the charismatic and endangered snow leopard as a flagship.
- The GSLEP is a range-wide effortthat unites range country governments, nongovernmental and inter-governmental organizations, local communities, and the private sector around a shared vision to conserve snow leopards and their valuable high-mountain ecosystems
- The GSLEP is a high-level inter-governmental alliance of all the 12 snow leopard range countries.
- The snow leopard countries namely, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- It majorly focuses on the need for awareness and understanding of the value of Snow Leopard for the ecosystem.
- The GSLEP Program (2019) was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change at New Delhi.
- The Steering Committee meetings of GSLEP is currently chaired by Nepal and co-chaired by Kyrgyzstan.
India: First Snow Leopard Survey
- The inaugural session of the 4th steering committeemeeting of the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) Program also marked the launch of the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment, to mark the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day (23rd October).
- The first National Snow Leopard Survey of the nation has been developed by scientific experts in association with the Snow Leopard States/UTs namely, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The use of technology such as camera traps and scientific surveys will help to estimate the numbers.
- The snow leopard inhabits the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.
- Snow leopards are categorized as ‘Vulnerable’ by IUCN and in the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
- They are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), revealing the need for the highest conservation status to the species, both globally and in India.