Tuvinian Kamby-Lama appeals to save the snow leopard
Mongun-Taiga (which means Silver Taiga) is the highest mountain in the East Siberia. For local people it’s also the holy place as well as the animals that inhabit it – the snow leopard and the Argali sheep. In Buddhist symbolism the snow leopard personifies the majesty and the holiness of spirit and, being a cat, irbis is under extra-ban on disturbance and, especially, on killing. To attract public attention to the holy places the Buddhist leaders together with the regional environmental authorities organized a number of meetings with local people.
First meeting in the Mugur-aksy village (district center) was attended by 200 people including district authorities. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources of Tuva Republic told local communities about WWF project on rare species conservation. In conclusion all attendees of the meeting received a calendar published by WWF: in each calendar fortunate and negative days are marked according to the Buddhist tradition. But the main part of the calendar is the appeal of Kamby-Lama to protect and respect the snow leopard.
Another one meeting was organized with local authorities and state-financed organizations. Besides questions on rare species conservation they talked about the responsibility for poaching and environmental law violation.
The next meeting was held in local school: the winners of the “March of parks” received diplomas and gifts from “Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina” Zapovednik. Also the schoolchildren got Buddhist calendars.
Final meeting was held at the shepherd encampment near Mogen-Buren village. Two livestock farmer families were glad to see the Buddhist monks and representatives of Ministry of Natural Resources. Shepherd also got calendars as a gift.
WWF plans to continue its work on ecological education of local people of Tuva involving religious leaders as guardians of traditions of worship and solicitous attitude to nature and its resources.