Sustaining snow leopard conservation through strengthened local enterprises and institutions
Rodney Malcolm Jackson
Snow Leopard Conservancy - SLC
Host Country Institutions:
The Mountain Institute, Mountain Spirit
SLC seeks funding to conduct a scoping and proposal design mission to Nepal in late spring 2017. The ultimate project will mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, specifically conserving snow leopards through community based stewardship, and with funding accrued from strengthening local enterprises and institutions which also provide long-term benefits. Strengthening local institutional self-funding capacities for conservation is the major project innovation.
The scoping trip has 2 objectives: a) meeting partners and local communities to design a 3 year project, and b) developing partnerships, detailed workplans, and roles and responsibilities for each partner organization.
Sustaining snow leopard conservation activities and mitigating the human wildlife conflicts involves a 2 pronged approach; linking snow leopard conservation actions with sustainable, self-funded incentives that reinforce important behavioural changes. These objectives are interdependent and cannot be separated for activities to be sustainable after project funding ceases.
SLC will send 2 representatives to Nepal to conduct meetings with partner organizations and to conduct a project design workshop with local NGOs and community representatives. Workshop outputs will be 1) a participatory proposal design and outline including goals, objectives, actions, indicators and a monitoring plan; 2) defined roles and responsibilities for each partner organization and local communities; 3) Fund raising plan to compliment Darwin Initiative resources.
SLC and the two partner organizations have extensive experience in all anticipated activities in the three proposed work sites. Its staff have 40+ years of experience in snow leopard conservation in Annapurna Conservation Area, Shey-Phoksundo National Park and Sagarmatha National Park (SNP), including designing and strengthening conservation linked saving and credit institutions in the SNP. Specialized expertise includes wildlife population monitoring, mitigating human-wildlife conflicts, conservation education/awareness, and establishing conservation linked livelihoods initiatives.
MS is experienced in community-based planning and helped establish and train the existing S&C institutions in SNP and is thus ideally poised to replicate these successes into additional protected areas. TMI is experienced in identifying and strengthening conservation linked, local enterprises (using conservation contracts), linking conservation actions with economic incentives, especially plant based enterprises and eco-tourism. TMI is recognized for its work with vulnerable and marginalized populations, and empowering women and their decision-making and control over resources that they generate.
All partners are officially registered and authorized to operate in the proposed project areas.
The project will be designed through participatory processes. Precise activities and indicators, designed in the workshop, will likely include:
1) building long term partnerships with 3-6 local Nepali NGO's in 3 areas;
2) building partner capacities to conserve snow leopard populations, their prey and habitats including poaching surveillance, wildlife protection, and snow leopard monitoring,
3) identifying and building capacities of local enterprises/institutions to conduct complimentary and conditional activities that generate incomes, a portion of which will be used to incentivize snow leopard conservation.
Changes in snow leopard abundance will be the major indicator of biodiversity and ecosystem health. Total revenues contributed by local institutions for snow leopard conservation will be a secondary success indicator.
All partner organizations have confirmed their strong intent to collaborate (letters attached).