G-B to spend over US$4.5 million to protect snow leopard

Pakistan has allocated an amount of $4.5 million to launch multi-year snow leopard protection programme in Gilgit-Baltistan region next year.

“An amount of $4.5 million has been approved for a multi-year snow leopard protection and the programme would be launched next year in Gilgit-Baltistan region,” said an official of Ministry of Climate Change.

He said that the snow leopard conservation efforts in Pakistan dated back to the early 70’s with the government endorsement of provincial wildlife acts. The efforts further picked up in 1990’s when the Snow Leopard Trust initiated its interventions in the country, he added.

He also recalled that Pakistani government also supported and endorsed the Snow Leopard Conservation Strategic Plan in 2007 as part of the implementation of the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy.

Since then many wildlife conservation organisations in Pakistan have been implementing the snow leopard conservation action plans, respectively, in the country by working with the local communities and government departments, he added.

The Landscape Management Plan of the Karakoram-Pamir Landscape, which is one of the largest snow leopard landscapes in the world, is in its final stage and would be endorsed after review by the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP) Secretariat in a few weeks’ time.

As a part of efforts to mitigate human-snow leopard conflict, several measures have been taken in the country, such as: construction of predator-proof corrals and compensation programmes in the form of livestock insurance schemes initiated by the provincial governments in collaboration of NGOs.

Snow leopard range in Pakistan spreads across 80,000 square kilometres in the Hindu Kush, Pamir, Karakoram and Himalayan Mountain Ranges of northern Pakistan.

Article Source: The Express Tribune

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