VIII Land of the Snow Leopard Festival was hold in the Republic of Altai
About 500 dwellers of the Republic of Altai, the key habitat of the snow leopard in Russia took part in the “spotted event”. The festival has been initiated in 2010 by Altai-Sayan Programme of WWF Russia with partners. This year event was supported by VTB-Bank the World Around You Charitable Foundation of the Siberian Wellness Corporation.
The gala-concert of the festival took part in the National Theatre of Gorno-Altaisk, the capital city of the Republic of Altai on the 26th of September. Prior to the event WWF and partners had an opening ceremony for the first statue of the snow leopard built in Kosh-Agach village near the border with Mongolia in the Republic of Altai. The ceremony started with the arrival of the ‘Irbis-Train”, the mobile propapagda team of the schoolchildren from all districts of the republic. Three days before the festival three school-busses with about 60 festival participants travelled around the republic and had events for the local people to raise awareness on snow leopard conservation.
This year all “Irbis’Train” participants took part in the statue opening ceremony in Kosh-Agach District. They had an eco-event delivering to the local people the self-made snow leopard “paw prints” and calingl for snow leopard conservation.
Natalya Trofimova, the Director of the Altai-Sayan Programme of WWF Russia said:
The teams of all districts of the Republic of Altai took part in the festival that followed the opening ceremony of the statue. All the schoolchildren are the festival participants that starts every spring in the Republic of Altai with the different contests among all schools with the support of the regional Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Natural Resources. Every year about 2000 people take part in the festival in Altai. Best paintings and drawings, booklets, souvenirs made by children were exhibited in the hall of the National Theatre before the gala-concert. 204 winners of contests were awarded.
This year the first prize was again won by the team of Kosh-Agachsky District. It is not surprising as Kosh-Agachsky District is the key snow leopard habitat in the Republic of Altai. It is the area where Sailugemsky National Park is located, a key WWF partner established in 2013 to conserve snow leopard and Altai argali sheep. The school eco-clubs are very active in the region.
Sergey Pishulin, the Director of Sailugemsky National Park: