Minister of state for environment, forest and climate change Babul Supriyo on Friday said that the Centre has been conserving snow leopard and its habitat through the Project Snow Leopard (PSL), which was launched in 2009.
Speaking at the International Snow Leopard Day 2020 through a virtual meeting, Supriyo said, “The Centre is committed to landscape restoration for snow leopard habitat conservation.”
“The government is implementing participatory landscape-based management plans involving local stakeholders,” he added.
“India is also party to the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) Programme since 2013,” he informed.
“We have identified three large landscapes- Hemis-Spiti across Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh; Nanda Devi – Gangotri in Uttarakhand; and Khangchendzonga – Tawang across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh,” he added.
The minister emphasised that states together with the Centre should resolve to bring up the population of snow leopards in India in the next five years.
It may be mentioned here that in India the snow leopards’ geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Protecting the snow leopard and its habitat ensures protection of the major Himalayan rivers that support the teeming millions downstream.
It also ensures that the ecological balance is maintained in these fragile ecosystems.
This multi-lateral programme comprises of 12 snow leopard range countries and they have developed national priorities and identified large landscapes to support viable populations of snow leopards.
During the virtual meet community volunteer programme, “HimalSanrakshak” was launched by Supriyo followed by the release of origami notebook based on the theme of combating illegal trade in wildlife.