CIC member and winner of the CIC Markhor Prize in 2014, the Hunting & Conservation Alliance of Tajikistan (H & CAT), has been admitted to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the beginning of June 2017, and became the first Tajik member of the world’s biggest nature conservation organization.
Members of the Hunting & Conservation Alliance of Tajikistan (H & CAT) are local NGOs and family owned local businesses, which manage community-based conservancies, where traditional hunters have stopped poaching and now support the recovery of wildlife populations.
In the region, shooting for meat has been exchanged for the protection and sustainable use of wildlife, and the income, which comes mainly from hunting and some ecotourism, in these areas supports the work of the rangers and projects that benefit the local communities as a 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 1900 animals according to the latest survey. This is nearly a doubling of the population in those areas since 2012.
H & CAT became a member of the CIC last year in the framework of the 63rd General Assembly in Brussels, where the 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.”
Tajikistan has already submitted the request to form a CIC National Delegation, and with the approval of the General Assembly, they will become the 40th national delegation of the CIC.
The role that sustainable hunting plays in the Pamir mountains in the conservation of wild animals is essential, and with the ratification of the CITES convention(since 2016, Tajikistan is the 182nd Party of CITES), and the admission to IUCN, it makes it easier for the international community to support efforts to eliminate poaching in the country as well as to contribute to the shaping and supporting of community-based wildlife management and sustainable use initiatives in Tajikistan.
The CIC German Delegation and Khalil Karimov, CIC Young Opinion member from Tajikistan, with the financial support of Diana (Blaser Group) and CIC member, Blaser, have played a major role in the establishment of H&CAT and therefore the CIC is thankful for their support.
Every year, the CIC Working Group, Young Opinion rewards young researchers, whose projects contribute to the sustainable use of wildlife for the benefit of natural heritage conservation. This year’s Young Opinion Research Award was offered to Qobiljon Shokirov, who presented a case study from Tajikistan.