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Connecting Local to Global


Scoping visit

This included visits to the potential project site, meetings with the project partners, and a two-day planning workshop with all major stakeholders to discuss the viability of the Darwin Initiative Stage 1 ideas. The outcome was an achievable Stage 1 concept note that addresses barriers, opportunities and solutions to Snow Leopard conservation by focusing on alternative livelihoods. These include: sustainable hunting, pasture management, developing Community Trusts as a multifunctional tool for poverty alleviation, micro finance systems to support business development from local sustainable herds, income generation through traditional crafts and other alternative livelihood projects.

An evaluation of micro enterprise in remote areas, business training for local people and the development of brands for their products through meetings with relevant NGOs showed potential links with snow leopard conservation that could provide alternative income for remote communities. The opportunities for partnership with commercial expedition companies, the possibilities for photo traps and tourism, and the creation of models for community-based monitoring of Snow Leopard and its prey species, were all identified as potential activities that can attract tourists.

However, the long distances and limited transport networks underlined the need for research into use of traditional crafts as a potential source of income rather than tourism. The Scoping visit allowed us to refine the need for further research of fairly traded indigenous goods and reveal other research needs with regards to alternative livelihoods initiative. The scoping of community Action Planning indicated that a cross-fertilisation of ideas could be beneficial, as communities would be part of the regional action plans developed and ‘own' elements of them.

Conclusion and lessons learned from the Scoping Award

From the Scoping Trip it became clear that there is a multi-cultural and multi-stakeholder viable long-term project here that can provide sustainable alternatives to poaching and help with economic development of remote communities in the trans-boundary areas of Altai-Sayan between Russia and Mongolia.

Community development strategies discussed by all project partners during the Scoping Visit are intended to provide incentives and economic opportunities (alternatives to poaching) to people living in mountains with extreme weather conditions and diverse landscapes where the Snow Leopard, Altai Argali and other rear species of animals live.

The key finding is that the project as now defined by partners is viable and could have innovative impacts on the development of regional conservation strategies, building upon an existing infrastructure and adapting models for economic and community development.


Click here for more information about the project on the Darwin Initiative website.

Community-based Snow Leopard conservation 

In trans-boundary Russia-Mongolia, with WWF Russia & Mongolia

A Darwin Initiative Scoping Award

Working with WWF Russia and WWF Mongolia

Snow leopard territory around the Russia-Mongolia border

Discussion amongst local communities in a traditional yurt

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Website updated October 2014.

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