Identifying diverse landscapes fromJammu & Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh

The landscapes concerned range from sub-alpine forests, meadows, glaciers, rock faces and vast areas under permafrost of the Greater Himalaya to the cold deserts and small patches of moist sedge meadows and wetlands of the Trans-Himalaya. These have been identified under international commitments and initiatives of the Govt. of India through the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP), Project Snow Leopard (PSL) and SECURE Himalaya

Himalayan snow leopard habitats are estimated to generate nearly $4 billion a year in economic value and provide essential ecosystem services such as freshwater, maintenance of hydrological functions and reducing erosion and downstream sedimentation. Hundreds of millions of people depend on these ecosystems for hydropower, irrigation, food security and sustenance of food crops grown in much of northern India, forage for livestock, mineral resources, medicinal and aromatic plants and their products, cultural traditions and spiritual values.

Potential snow leopard range in India (3200-5200m)

Snow Leopard status and conservation: Regional reviews and updates: South Asia: India – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: 5200-m-Information-gaps-status-of_fig1_305366328 [accessed 15 Jun, 2021]

Ecosystem threats and the need for the landscape approach

Habitats are getting degraded and fragmented owing to unsustainable livestock grazing, high dependence of local communities on natural resources, pressures from economic and infrastructure development, selective removal of medicinal and aromatic plants and the illegal wildlife trade and wildlife crime. These interrelated threats cannot be addressed effectively by the existing fragmented conservation policies. The landscape approach therefore seeks to secure the snow leopard and other globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources while enhancing local lives and livelihoods.

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