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Enhancing herders’ livelihood and conserving the snow leopard in Nepal


Gurung, G S; Thapa, K; Kunkel, K; Thapa, G J; Kollmair, M; Müller-Böker, U (2011). Enhancing herders’ livelihood and conserving the snow leopard in Nepal. CAT News, 55:17-21.

Abstract

Loss of livestock to snow leopards Panthera uncia is one of the primary concerns of subsistence herders’ communities and one of the primary threats to conservation of this endangered species throughout the alpine regions of the central Asia. Unless the relationship between snow leopards and humans is better understood and appropriate strategies are applied, coexistence may not be sustainable. Thus, to address this issue, WWF Nepal piloted a community-managed livestock insurance scheme in Ghunsa valley of Kangchenjunga Conservation Area simultaneously with various types of mitigation measures (i.e. preventive and curative). We found significant advantages of the insurance scheme including that it is self-sustaining and locally managed thereby ensuring it is economically viable and effective in preventive retaliatory killing of snow leopards. The main strength of the insurance scheme is that it was designed and developed in close co-operation with the affected herders’ communities. The communities start by designing a simple livestock insurance plan whereby owners contribute to a common fund that is later administered and managed at the local level, thus reducing likelihood of fraud. Benefit sharing of funds among subsistence herders’ communities from income generating activities is one of the positive motivating tools for people towards snow leopards. Since initiated, snow leopard killings have gone from 1-3/year to 0/year for 3 years.

Loss of livestock to snow leopards Panthera uncia is one of the primary concerns of subsistence herders’ communities and one of the primary threats to conservation of this endangered species throughout the alpine regions of the central Asia. Unless the relationship between snow leopards and humans is better understood and appropriate strategies are applied, coexistence may not be sustainable. Thus, to address this issue, WWF Nepal piloted a community-managed livestock insurance scheme in Ghunsa valley of Kangchenjunga Conservation Area simultaneously with various types of mitigation measures (i.e. preventive and curative). We found significant advantages of the insurance scheme including that it is self-sustaining and locally managed thereby ensuring it is economically viable and effective in preventive retaliatory killing of snow leopards. The main strength of the insurance scheme is that it was designed and developed in close co-operation with the affected herders’ communities. The communities start by designing a simple livestock insurance plan whereby owners contribute to a common fund that is later administered and managed at the local level, thus reducing likelihood of fraud. Benefit sharing of funds among subsistence herders’ communities from income generating activities is one of the positive motivating tools for people towards snow leopards. Since initiated, snow leopard killings have gone from 1-3/year to 0/year for 3 years.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:26 Jan 2012 12:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:19
Publisher:IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group
ISSN:1027-2992
Related URLs:http://www.catsg.org/catnews/20_cat-news-website/home/index_en.htm (Publisher)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-54225

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