On October 23rd, the 8th International Snow Leopard Day publicity event co-hosted by BFU and Eco-Bridge Continental (EBC) was held in Ditan Park, Beijing. The event was joined by President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Zhang Xinsheng, Vice President of BFU Luo Youqing, President of the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) Chen Fengxue, Executive Member of the CWCA Council and former host of China Media Group Zhang Hongmin, Deputy Director of the Department of Wildlife Protection of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA)Wu Minglu, Chief Inspector of the Department of International Cooperation of NFGA Dai Guangcui, Deputy Director of the Publicity Center of NFGA Wang Zhen, Executive Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Center of NFGA Wang Chunfeng, Deputy Director of the National Park Management Office Yang Dong, Deputy Secretary-General of CWCA Wang Xiaoting, Deputy Secretary-General of China Green Foundation Miao Guangping, Deputy Secretary-General of the Chinese Society of Forestry Shen Jinlan, and Vice President and Secretary-General of China Green Carbon Foundation Liu Jiashun. Faculties and students from the Division of Science and Technology of BFU, School of Ecology and Nature Conservation and the Wildlife Institute of BFU, and staffs from EBC also participated in this activity.
Zhang Xinsheng pointed out that due to the global warming, ecological damage, habitat degradation and biodiversity decrease, the snow-covered plateau where snow leopards and many other animals live is the last piece of pure land which must be fully cherished. It is hoped that more and more enterprises, social organizations and the public can get involved and further strengthen the international exchanges and cooperation to share cases in snow leopard research and tell the successful global stories of its protection.
Luo Youqing, Vice-President of BFU, introduced the theme of International Snow Leopard Day at the opening ceremony - “Protect Snow Leopards, Protect Mountain Ecosystem, and Protect Our Shared Homeland”. Snow leopards, as top predators in plateau, can keep the local ecosystem in balance. Therefore, to protect snow leopards is to protect the mountain ecosystem as well as the present and future of humankind. Luo said BFU has been actively promoting the scientific research, talent training and team building in the fields of wildlife ecological evolution, protection and management, rescue and breeding, epidemic prevention and control, etc. In particular, a series of achievements have been made by School of Ecology and Nature Conservation and the Wildlife Institute in researches on the protection of endangered species such as snow leopard, Przewalski horse, Asian elephant, crested ibis, white-headed crane, etc. They have done a remarkable job which provides reliable scientific and technological support for wildlife protection and management in China. It is believed that snow-leopard protection will be deeply rooted in people’s heart and further advance this undertaking in China and the world at large. We should endeavor to make snow leopards live healthily in this green China and also allow our future generations to appreciate their beauty.
Chen Fengxue argues that China has the largest number of snow leopard and the widest habitat areas in the world. Therefore, the snow leopard protection in China is crucial to this global undertaking.
After the opening ceremony, Zhang Hongmin led to launch the “Snow Leopard Protection Initiative”. The leaders awarded certificates to 14 outstanding volunteers, encourage the young generation to get involved in snow-leopard and wildlife protection, and jointly implement the philosophy of “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets” to realize the sustainable development of the ecosystem.
On the “Approaching to Snow Leopard” forum, guests made an in-depth and comprehensive discussion on the core issues of snow-leopard protection, which was joined by Yu Qiao, news reporter from the China Media Group, Shi Kun, professor of School of Ecology and Nature Conservation of BFU, Zhou Qing, producer and director of “Earth Lecture” in Agriculture and Rural Channel of the China Media Group, Liu Yi, Chinese national coordinator of Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grant Program of United Nations Development Program, Li Li, Chinese ink painter and wildlife photographer, Wang Jun, snow leopard researcher, and youth volunteer Cao Jingxuan.
This event also expanded the publicity scope through live interactive broadcast, making more network audience get involved to understand the frontline research on snow leopards in Menyuan, Qinghai province and feel the passion from local residents in supporting the project.
It is found that the number of snow leopards is declining globally, and they are confronting the threats of habitat loss and degradation, the reduction of their usual prey, and illegal hunting and trade. The supervision and protection of snow leopards and their habitats is of great urgency. Therefore, on October 23rd, the First Global Snow Leopard Protection Forum was held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, and the twelve countries where snow leopards live participated in the forum and signed the Bishkek Declaration . Besides, the day Oct.23rd was also designated as the “International Snow Leopard Day”, which was aimed at calling for people to focus on the protection of snow leopards and the alpine ecosystem so as to help them recover and develop in a steady manner. These twelve countries are all official member states or observing countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Currently, China is in a critical period of BRI development as well as the protection of endangered species, including snow leopard. The international ecological and environmental cooperation is conducive to presenting China’s values to the world and improving its global image. This event was co-hosted by BFU and EBC and supported by CWCA, China Green Times, Everest Snow Leopard Protection Center, Commission on Education and Communication of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN CEC),Zoological Society of London (ZSL),Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP), Snow Leopard Network (SLN) and Ditan Park Administration etc.