Rs 50m to be allocated for snow leopard conservation


KATHMANDU, Jan 21: The government is set to allocate a budget of Rs 50 million for various programmes directed at the efforts for snow leopard conservation in the Himalayas.

Inaugurating the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystems Protection Programme (GSLEP) Second Steering Committee Meeting, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the budget would be used for establishment of a Himalayan Research Centre in Nepal.

The government plans to motivate the youths involved in the sector to undertake scientific research and investigation. GSLEP Steering Committee meeting concluded on Friday issuing a Kathmandu Declaration.

Speaking to the National News Agency (RSS), Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Dr Maheshwor Dhakal, said an agenda has been broached to open the Himalayan Research Centre in Nepal.

Of the 12 countries where snow leopards are found, ministers from six countries including Nepal and secretaries and officials from other countries took part in the steering committee meeting.

The snow leopard  is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because, as of 2003, the size of the global wild population was estimated at 4,080–6,590 adults.

Fewer than 2,500 individuals may be reproducing in the wild. As of 2016, estimates for the size of the global population vary from at least 4,080 to about 8,700 individuals.

In Nepal, the population of snow leopard is estimated at 300 to 500.

GSLEP’s next conference will be held in September, 2017 in Kyrgyzstan with pre-conference taking place in Pakistan in July this year. RSS