About the Project

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change launched Project Snow Leopard in 2009 to promote an inclusive, participatory, and landscape-based approach to conserve Snow Leopards and their habitat in India. The project aims to protect and conserve the high-altitude of the Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions to improve wildlife conservation and adopt a participatory approach that involves the local communities and other stakeholders in safeguarding the snow leopard and its habitat.

High-altitude wildlife in India today faces a variety of threats.

Geographic Focus

Project Snow Leopard is being implemented in the four Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, and the two UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.  These areas generally comprise the non-forested or sparsely forested high-altitude regions of the Himalaya and trans-Himalaya above elevations of 3,000m in the Western Himalaya and above 4,000m in the eastern Himalaya.

Project Stakeholders

The conservation interventions of Project Snow Leopard is being undertaken at all levels.

National Level

Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, along with other ministries, research institutions and knowledge partners.

State Level

Forest and Wildlife Division of the State Forest Departments, other state line departments including Rural Development, Animal Husbandry, State Medicinal Plant Board, Horticulture, Tourism, and Handloom and Handicraft Departments.

Local Level

Civil Society Organizations and Community Based Organizations, including Panchayati Raj Institutions, Van Panchayats, Biodiversity Management Committees and Self-Help Groups.

Project Objectives

For successfully implementing the conservation objectives of Project Snow Leopard, having a clear path and a detailed plan of action becomes crucial. Following are the 10 implementation objectives:

Facilitating a landscape-level approach to wildlife conservation

The Project helps with identifying biologically important landscapes in the Himalayan high altitudes and assists in developing landscape-level management plans.

Rationalize the existing protected area network and improve protected area management

The Project facilitates establishing new Protected Areas, develop responsible management plans, and train the staff to meaningfully protect the existing Protected Areas and the surrounding landscape.

Develop a framework for wildlife conservation outside protected areas and promote ecologically responsible development-

The Project enables initiatives and programmes required for preserving and promoting the traditional handicrafts and handlooms of the local communities, as well as supports initiatives that promote harmony between the local communities and wildlife populations on the common land.

Support focused conservation and recovery programmes for endangered species such as the snow leopard

The Project encourages scientific research, and the use of this knowledge for formulating and implementing participatory, science-based conservation programs at local and regional levels.

Promote stronger measures for wildlife protection and law enforcement

The Project supports training, equipment, and innovative community-based protection measures that lead to stronger enforcement of wildlife protection laws.

Promote better understanding and management of human-wildlife conflict

The Project delivers better understanding of local human-wildlife conflicts and encourages the development of community-based conflict resolution programmes that can be administered and managed by local bodies such as the village councils.

Restore degraded landscapes

The Project designs and implements restoration programmes in degraded areas that show restoration potential.

Promote a knowledge-based approach to conservation and an adaptive framework for wildlife management

The Project fosters high quality scientific research and monitoring of wildlife and human ecology, and enables management frameworks that are adaptive, periodically incorporating ecological and social feedback into management planning.

Reduce anthropogenic pressures

The Project provides the local communities with alternate income sources to reduce human pressures on natural resources and implements policies in the Protected Areas to monitor over-grazing.

Promote conservation education and awareness

The Project will support education and awareness programmes to enhance the capacity of individuals and institutions from local communities in understanding wildlife conservation.