Secondary school students and teachers in Sangvor and Lyakhsh took an active part in training workshops on the sustainable conservation of the snow leopard and its ecosystems, dedicated to the celebration of the International Snow Leopard Day.
The educational activities were organized with the support of the UNDP / GEF project on the conservation and sustainable use of the Pamir-Alay and Tien Shan ecosystems for the snow leopard protection and sustainable community livelihoods. The project provided a series of different activities in the framework of the week dedicated to the celebration of the Snow Leopard Day: exhibitions, seminars, conferences, festivals, etc., in which representatives of various ages and social groups took part.
In Sangvor and Lyakhsh, which are among the key habitats of the snow leopard in the country, hold training workshops aimed at increasing the knowledge of students and teachers in wildlife protection and conservation of the snow leopard and wild ungulates.
About 70 students, girls and boys aged from 14 to 17 years, 15 teachers, specialists of the Tajik National Park (TNP) branches in Sangvor and Lyakhsh took part in these activities.
According to the organizers, a purpose of the seminar was to increase the knowledge of rural school students about the snow leopard natural and cultural value, the need to preserve its habitats and importance of the participation of local people, especially young people, in this process.
Students very actively participated in theme quizzes, competitions, discussions and working groups. According to Mavzuna Fayzulloyeva, a student of the secondary school № 7 of the Childara jamoat, local people often meet wild animals, especially wolves, bears, wild boars, people do not know so much about the snow leopard, so “we were interested to learn so many features of this predator. We try to help wild animals, we feed birds and hares in the winter, and help the staff of the Forestry”.
TNP’s specialists told the participants about the uniqueness of the nature of the national park, about its wild inhabitants, about the national and global significance of certain species of animals and plants that inhabit and grow in these territories. Schoolchildren have heard many stories about real encounters with the snow leopard and legends of various nations, where the leopard personifies the symbol of courage, nobility, freedom and purity.
“Once, coming back from mission, the employees of the TNP went on the way where a snowstorm descended days before. In one place where the snow was already thawing, the staff saw the body of a dead animal, which was a snow leopard. Unfortunately, the gradual warming of the climate also negatively affects the habitat of the leopard and its population in these places”.
At the end, all participants were given gift bags with information and educational materials on the snow leopard.