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09 May 2017

INTERPOL training enhances protection of snow leopards in Central Asia

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – An INTERPOL training course for wildlife officers in Kyrgyzstan aimed to strengthen the skills of wildlife officers in preventing the poaching and trafficking of snow leopards.

The one-week (24 April – 1 May) course, co-organized with the Snow Leopard Trust and the Government of Kyrgyzstan, also sought to improve the safety of the officers who protect the highly endangered snow leopards, which are found across 12 countries in Central, South and East Asia. 

Michael Despines, Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Trust said: “Kyrgyzstan has been at the forefront of snow leopard conservation efforts for several years. This partnership to train rangers is a great example for their collaborative approach.”

The training course was part of a three-year capacity development initiative in Kyrgyzstan which aims to institutionalize the delivery of a standard enforcement training to all wildlife enforcement officers in the country.

Taking into consideration the needs of the country, the training focused on crime scene investigation, evidence collection, interviewing witnesses and court procedures, with a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach to ensure the continuation of the training.

As directed by the 2015 Joint Strategy on Snow Leopards, INTERPOL will continue to work with snow leopard range countries to encourage multi-agency coordination on investigations at the national level, as well as regional collaboration between all the range countries.