The Altai Mountains, which straddle China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, are a critical area for global conservation. They are a key habitat for endangered species, such as the snow leopard and Argali sheep.
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The Kyrgyz Republic, despite its small size, has relatively high diversity of species - about % of all known species on 0.13% of the Earth terrestrial. The complex orographical structure and wide-ranging elevations have nurtured highly diverse and endemic biomes, especially rich flora species in the Western Tian-Shan and Pamir-Altai ranges.
Many migratory soaring birds journey between Europe, Western and Central Asia and Africa. They face unsustainable levels of hunting in many countries along their route, including Syria and Lebanon. Tackling hunting is one element of the Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) Project, which addresses a range of threats to these birds from economic sectors along the Red Sea/Rift Valley Flyway. The aim is to promote the principles of responsible hunting, including within legislation, in order to minimize impacts on populations of migratory soaring birds.
The money that countries spend to manage and maintain protected areas should not be considered an “expenditure” but an “investment.” This is not only a semantical issue, but also a conceptual and theoretical one. In general, countries, citizens, press, and ministers of finance praise the investment, but not the expenditure. For instance, in the case of the guards that work for these areas, should those salaries be considered as a general expenditure, or as an investment? If we do not pay for the guards, can we keep a protected area safe?
WCS will highlight experiences with PA-based enterprises working with local communities in Bolivia and Guatemala to help promote sustainable livelihoods and improve governance conditions. In Bolivia, WCS works in a suite of Protected Areas and indigenous territories to develop community-based natural resource management enterprises, ranging from chocolate cultivation to caiman harvesting and processing of skins. In Guatemala, WCS works with a community to sustainably harvest an understory palm frond known as xate.