The Amity Foundation has teamed up with NGOs from Tajikistan and China for a trilateral ecological conservation project. The South-South cooperation partners started a cross-border program in the mountainous highland regions – the habitat of the “vulnerable” (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) snow leopard. The programme engages local communities to monitor and better protect the snow leopard and explore possibilities for eco-tourism.
Since January 2021, the Amity Foundation and the Shan Shui Conservation Center have carried out wildlife conservation programmes in Qinghai Province. Local communities on the Tibetan Plateau at 4,000 metres high altitude suffered losses of their livestock to the leopards and other carnivores. The project trains locals to operate camera traps and monitor the wild animals. The aim is to raise awareness for wildlife protection and to promote and develop eco-friendly nature experience projects in the regions. As of March 2022, the programme compiled and developed measures and manuals for monitoring and eco-tourism projects, laying the foundation for future programmes.
In addition, Amity Foundation aims to promote exchanges and cooperation between domestic snow leopard conservation institutions and their international counterparts. With the support of the United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (UNDP GEF SGP), the project cooperates with Kudak va Jomea, an NGO from Tajikistan. By facilitating exchanges between the implementing NGOs – Shan Shui and Kudak va Jomea, the programme aims to conduct community-based monitoring and improve community livelihood through eco-tourism. By promoting community participation in wildlife protection and monitoring, the participants can share experiences of their work and enhance their capacity in snow leopard monitoring and conservation.
The project also includes exploring and designing eco-tourism routes and training local host families for sustainable community-based eco-tourism. Due to the pandemic, exchanges have taken place online. In the future, the partners from China and Tajikistan will further explore and promote community engagement and ecological protection, and carry out non-governmental cooperation in the field. By facilitating people-to-people exchanges, Amity helps to enhance China-Tajikistan relations and to realise the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Tajikistan is the first SCO member country where the Amity Foundation has engaged in the implementation of social development projects.
(Photos have been provided by our partner: The GEF Small Grants Program China – http://www.gefsgp.cn/appdetail.php?id=512&fid=22&cid=22)