The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) Program's Steering Committee convened for the first time to take stock of the progress made on GSLEP Program goals. Pakistan Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan was elected chairman of the Steering Committee of the Program.
Held from 19-20 March 2015 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and hosted by the State Agency of Environmental Protection and Forestry of Kyrgyzstan, the meeting was co-organized and funded by the GSLEP Working Secretariat, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), UN Development Program (UNDP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Participants from governments and non-governmental organizations shared country updates and reviewed progress on the implementation of GSLEP Program goals, including in the 23 landscapes identified by the countries. During the discussions on financing, Yoko Watanabe, GEF, discussed several GEF projects in the pipeline focused on snow leopard conservation.
Initiated and championed by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambayev, the Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum in Bishkek held on 22-23 October 2013 endorsed two key documents: the Bishkek Declaration on the Conservation of Snow Leopards and the long-term GSLEP Program, which aims to ensure the survival of the snow leopard in its natural ecosystem. Pursuant to the Bishkek Declaration, snow leopard range countries have agreed to form a high-level Steering Committee to guide program implementation, regularly review its progress, and maintain a strong political commitment to its objectives through a Secretariat to coordinate program implementation.