The 63rd General Assembly of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), which was held in Brussels in April, accepted the “Hunting and Conservation Alliance of Tajikistan” (H&CAT) as a new member of CIC.
CIC President George Aman said: “We recognize the great contributions of the local residents in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan in conserving markhor wild goats, ibex, argali sheep, snow leopards, and many other animals. People have created another showpiece of how practicing sustainable use is in their own interest and can greatly increase numbers of endangered species. We therefore welcome the ´Hunting and Conservation Alliance of Tajikistan` in the CIC as the worldwide hunters-conservators-movement.” By agreeing to the membership, the CIC recognizes the organization’s and its members’ commitment to conservation and to the development of sustainable hunting in Tajikistan.
Members of the new association are local NGOs, which manage community-based conservancies, where traditional hunters have stopped poaching and now support the recovery of wildlife populations. Some small family enterprises that manage similar conservancies are also joining H&CAT. Careless shooting for meat has been exchanged for protection and careful sustainable take- off of a few old males by hunters. Income, mainly from hunting and some ecotourism, in these areas supports the work of the rangers and projects that benefit the local communities as whole.
Populations of Asiatic ibex, Marco Polo sheep, markhor, and even snow leopard have consequently experienced a remarkable recovery within the areas managed by these community-based organizations. Markhor, for example, were reduced to very small numbers and were at the brink of extinction in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the family-managed conservancies have increased the population to at least 1450 animals according to the last survey. This is nearly a doubling of the population in those areas since 2012. These successes have been recognized with the CIC Markhor Award during the Convention of Biological Diversity Conference in 2014.
During the last year, the German Delegation of the CIC supported conservation projects and the work of the villages and H&CAT in Tajikistan.
H&CAT and its members are looking forward to a fruitful and mutually beneficial collaboration with the CIC.
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