UN and WWF organized International seminar “Monitoring and protection of tiger and leopard”
The main result of the joint work of Russian and Chinese experts was the Protocol on Sino-Russian transboundary cooperation for the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard conservation and their habitat protection. Vladimir Andronov, the chairman of the Russian Working Group for tiger research of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology signed the Protocol on behalf of Russia, and academician Ma Jianzhang, director of the Feline Research Center of the State Forestry Administration of China on behalf of China. At the final meeting the members of the united Sino-Russian expert group discussed the plan of further joint work on leopard research and restoration of Changbaishan and Wandashan populations of the Amur tiger. In addition to the agreement on cooperation between Jilin and Primorsky Provinces, the agreement was reached to sign the analogous document with Heilongjiang Province for the creation of transboundary nature reserve basing on Sredneussuriisky Wildlife Refuge – ecological corridor for tiger between Russia and China on Strelnikov mountain range – Wandashan mountain range.
“Sino-Russian expert group, including acting specialists on tiger and leopard, is finally formed, comments Yury Darman. – This will enhance the establishment of the Sino-Russian transboundary protected areas for further protection of these rare cats.”
It should be noted that the idea of the united protected area as the main condition for the conservation of the Far Eastern leopard was firstly spoken out loud in 2001by WWF and namely by Yury Darman, at that time the coordinator for Protected Areas. Since that time in spite of existing conditions, pretenses and institutional conflicts, WWF has launched a gradual program for the creation of such protected area for leopards.
The work of WWF Russia in this direction was highly appreciated by the government of the Russian Federation. At the closing ceremony of the VI International Forum “Nature Without Borders” Yury Darman was awarded with the Certificate of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology for taking active part in the preparation of the materials for the creation of the “Land of Leopard” National Park in Primorsky Province.
Participants of the Seminar “Monitoring and protection of the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard” greeted the success in signing bilateral agreements for cooperation between different scientific and governmental agencies both on federal and provincial levels. Dr.Sangmin Nam, of NEASPEC Secretariat mentioned: - “The ongoing initiatives should be further supported by all member State governments and strengthened through better communication and coordination among stakeholders. In this regard, NEASPEC will closely work with its member governments to establish a cooperation platform that brings key stakeholders together for strengthening transboundary cooperation for protecting tigers and leopards.”
The coordinators for the future partnership on exchange of knowledge and experience, collection of data on tiger and leopard, trainings in China will be the Feline Research Center of the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of China, and WWF Russia Amur Branch in Russia.
The Protocol on Sino-Russian transboundary cooperation for the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard conservation and their habitat protection was singed on the eve of the International Tiger Day which will be celebrated on 29 of July.