International Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Forum Begins in Bishkek

Press release, 8/24/17

Bishkek – High-level delegations from all 12 snow leopard range countries and senior representatives of international organizations have arrived in Bishkek today for the 2017 International Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Forum.

The Forum will be opened tomorrow, August 25th, by President Almazbek Atambayev of the Kyrgyz Republic, who is leading the Kyrgyz delegation.

Delegation heads from the other range countries include:

Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Vice President, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Yeshey Dorji, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, the Kingdom of Bhutan

Li Chunliang, Deputy Head of the State Division of Forestry, the People’s Republic of China

Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Republic of India

Askar Myrzakhmetov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture, the Republic of Kazakhstan

Tserendorzhin Baybayar, Vice Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mongolia

Prakash Mathema, Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Nepal

Mushahid Ulla Khan, Federal Minister of Climate Change, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Sergei Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, the Russian Federation

Hairullo Ibodzoda, Chairperson Environment Protection Committee, the Republic of Tajikistan

Borit Alikhanov, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Oliy Majlis, the Republic of Uzbekistan

The following senior leaders from strategic partner institutions, donors and conservation organizations are attending:

Erik Solheim, Director General, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Cihan Sultanoglu, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Midori Paxton, Senior Technical Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Malik Amin Aslam, Vice President, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Jaime Cavelier, Senior Environment Specialist, Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Keshav Varma, Chairman, Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTI-C)

Thomas Tennhardt, Vice President, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)

Michael Despines, Executive Director, Snow Leopard Trust (SLT)

Mary Melnik, Environment Team Leader, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Kimberly Rosen, Mission Director Kyrgyzstan, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Marco Lambertini, Director General, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Kate Newman, Vice President, WWF US

Lu Zhi, Chairperson, Snow Leopard Network (SLN)

Charudutt Mishra, Executive Director, Snow Leopard Network (SLN)

Leaders from the business and entertainment sector include:

Ms Dia Mirza, actress and film producer, India

Mr Jubin Nautyial, singer and musician, India

Hari Sankaran, M.D. IL&FS

Wang Shi, Vanke Foundation

Binod Chaudhary, Chaudhary Group of Industries

Punit Lalbhai, Arvind Mills

The Forum’s high-level segment will be held at State Residence No. 1 “Ala Archa” in Bishkek. Technical meetings and side events are held at Jannat Regency and Hyatt Regency Hotels.

The Forum will be held at State Residence No. 1 “Ala Archa” in Bishkek. Range countries will endorse the Bishkek Declaration 2017, reaffirming their commitment to saving the endangered snow leopard.

A snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan’s Shamshy Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: SLF Kyrgyzstan / Snow Leopard Trust

The Forum is hosted by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, and organized by the State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program’s secretariat. Strategic partners include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Several organizations such as FAO, WFP and OSCE are also providing support for specific deliverables. Additional support has been provided by General Sponsor Tsum Center, Official Sponsors United Cement Group and RSK Bank, Official Partners Ayil Bank and Ayu Holding, and Partners including Hyatt Regency Hotel, Jannat Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Orion Hotel, Dostuk Club Hotel, Tour Asia, Beren Gold, Uni Yurt, Antares Group, Adver Group, World Ethnosport Federation, and Media Partners Novyi Bishkek and Sputnik.

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