CIC Markhor Award 2024 – Call for Nominations

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The CIC Markhor Award honours a conservation project of global relevance that links the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity with human livelihoods. The Markhor Award is awarded every two years at the occasion of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), highlighting sustainable use as the second of the three objectives of the Convention.

The Return of the Markhor Award

The upcoming 16th Conference of Parties to the CBD (CBD COP16) will be the first CBD COP held since the landmark adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, with the event taking place from 21 October–1 November 2024 in Cali, Valle Del Cauca, Colombia.

The 23 ambitious Targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework demonstrate a renewed commitment to global conservation, moving from words to action.

With this in mind, the CIC is now taking nominations for the prestigious CIC Markhor Award – now in its 8th iteration – which will support the 2030 global biodiversity agenda by awarding best practices in the field of sustainable use.

To mark this special occasion, we are opening the call for nominations to coincide with the inaugural International Day of the Markhor, which recognises the importance of this emblematic wild goat species! Earlier this month, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring May 24th as the International Day of the Markhor; this takes place two days after the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated on May 22nd.

This news echoes the sentiment behind the creation of the CIC Markhor Award, which was launched as a reflection of the successful projects sustainably utilising markhor in order to bolster economic growth, foster conservation efforts and promote sustainable tourism.

In addition, this Award comes about following the adoption of the 2030 CIC Strategic Plan at the 70th General Assembly in Cascais, which aligns the work of the organisation with the Global Biodiversity Framework on the road to 2030.

With a similar focus on sustainable harvest and the use of wild species to benefit people, many parallels can be found between the Global Biodiversity Framework and the Markhor Award, making this the perfect CIC prize to be first given out in this new chapter for the organisation.

The winner of the previous Markhor Award in 2022 was a joint project of three Mexican families on the Repatriation of Desert Bighorn Sheep, which helped free-range desert bighorn sheep populations to grow from 0 to 1,500 across three Mexican states.

This was achieved through the innovative use of nursery herds to repatriate desert bighorn sheep to new areas with little – or in this case no – individuals of the species. Through this method, a starting population of 353 desert sheep grew to 1,500 in the space of a few years in three ranches located around Mexico.

Interested In Applying?

If you know of any sustainable use initiatives related to any species – not only wild goats – that are deserving of this Award, please get in touch with us!

See the eligibility criteria below. If you know of a project that would be an appropriate nominee, please contact us with a short (maximum one-page) description justifying the nomination.

The deadline for applications is 31 July 2024.

Eligibility Criteria

Activities should have proven, substantial and long-lasting benefits for the conservation status of one or more wildlife species and their habitat. A focus will be placed on the conservation or reintroduction of biodiversity through hunting as part of sustainable game/wildlife/habitat management programs.

Of importance is an adherence to and implementation of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines as an integral part of the management of eligible projects.

As part of the nomination, applicants should include examples of best practice relating to conservation leadership, practical conservation activities and the long-term benefits seen through previous, current and future planned project work.

Where relevant, please include information on any revenues from sustainable hunting that are supporting wildlife conservation, the livelihoods of people living in or near wildlife areas, or rural infrastructure development such as health care, education and food supply.

In addition, please reference which of the following Global Biodiversity Framework Targets – identified as part of the 2030 CIC Strategic Plan – are addressed through project activities, where applicable.

  • Target 3: Protect & Conserve 30% of Land by 2030 (“30×30”)
  • Target 4: Halt Species Extinction and Manage Human-Wildlife Conflicts
  • Target 5: Sustainable, Safe and Legal Harvest / Trade of Wild Species
  • Target 6: Reduce Invasive Species by 50%
  • Target 9: Manage Wild Species Sustainably to Benefit People
  • Target 21: Ensure Knowledge Is Available / Accessible to Guide Biodiversity Action

Special consideration is given to those projects that have multinational relevance, particularly projects that involve cross-border cooperation and innovative partnerships for conservation and community-based natural resources management.

Eligible Applicants

  • businesses (forestry, hunting, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, etc.)
  • educational institutions
  • non-profit organisations
  • local, state and federal government
  • individuals

Please present nominations by 31 July 2024 to the CIC Administrative Office (

Previous Markhor Award winners:

CBD COP 9, Bonn, Germany, 2008
Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor, Niassa Game Reserve

CBD COP 10, Nagoya, Japan, 2010
Torghar Conservation Program

CBD COP 11, Hyderabad, India, 2012
The Namibia Communal Conservancy Movement

CBD COP 12, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, 2014
Tajikistan Mountain Ungulate Project

CBD COP 13, Cancun, Mexico, 2016
Savé Valley Conservancy

CBD COP 14, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, 2018
Return of Rural Wetlands LIFE+ Project

CBD COP 15, Montréal, Canada, 2022
Repatriating Desert Bighorn Sheep in Three Mexican States