Monday, 17 December 2012

Snow leopard action planning in China

Dear All,

Hello once again. I know it's infrequent, but I'm sure you'd rather that than constant noise about nothing. What can I say? We've been fantastically busy. I'm not in the mood to write lots, but I will flag up certain fruits of our labours, and offer a short video to help you along.

First, we held the first national action planning meeting for snow leopard in Beijing a few weeks ago. Now, this may sound pretty dry and pointless amidst the apparent screaming need for real action on the ground. No so, however. Before you go off and do something 'useful' it is inherently useful to understand what actually needs doing and what are the priorities. Also, who is actually going to do everything that's needed, how they will work together (conservationists, like many people, have a sketchy history in this regard) and who will part with the necessary cash. That's all great, but the real step forward is that we had a strong showing from all provinces in China with snow leopards and the national government. All were super keen to develop plans for China, so the challenge is now to maintain that enthusiasm. Having a Chinese lead on this is essential.

The secondary (or was is main) reason for this national get together was to launch the "Second National Snow Leopard Survey for China", which we have been tasked with delivering. Hooray! Oh, hang on... surveying over HOW much cold inhospitable remote mountainous back of beyond? Given the scale of the snow leopard range in China this is a monster task; something akin to a yeti perhaps. So getting all of the provinces involved is essential to getting this done over the next couple of years. The good news is that we now have study sites across China, which can form a hi-res background against which we validate other areas. More of that, and other stuff, later...

In the meantime, here is a video of the Beijing workshop, put together by Eve Bohnett - one of our many highly talented students:

Peace and goodwill to you all.