SLN Webinar: Climate Change Mitigation and Snow Leopard Conservation- Community led Initiatives in Kyrgyzstan

Join us for a webinar that explores the interconnection between climate change, cultural heritage, and the conservation of the snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan. This event features a series of presentations from our guests, each dedicated to sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and community development. Our speakers from the Rural Development Fund (RDF), a public foundation dedicated to environmental preservation and community development, will explore how community-led efforts and traditional knowledge can play a pivotal role in both snow leopard conservation and climate change mitigation. Each project presented exemplifies the power of local engagement and cooperation in safeguarding the unique biodiversity of Kyrgyzstan’s landscapes. 

About the presentation

The series of presentations collectively offer a diverse exploration of conservation, community development, and the preservation of cultural heritage. Kuluipa Akmatova will showcase the significance of collaboration in her extensive work, emphasizing snow leopard conservation and cultural heritage preservation. Marlis Sarchaev’s presentation delves into the success of the “Support to Development of a Green Agriculture by Local Communities” project, focusing on sustainable agriculture’s impact on climate change and community prosperity. Alina Zhenishbekova’s presentation spotlights her project’s innovative community engagement approach and her commitment to broader global concerns such as gender equality. Batma Kaldybek kyzy shares insights on the “Snow Leopard Guardians” project, highlighting the preservation of traditional knowledge and snow leopard conservation. Elvira Maratova’s perspective from the Regional Platform on Ecosystem Restoration underscores the importance of traditional wisdom in modern conservation efforts and climate change mitigation.

About our Guests:

Kuluipa Akmatova, Executive Director, RDF – A dedicated advocate for environmental conservation and sustainable community development. Since 2017, she has been leading the PF “Rural Development Fund” and actively participating in civil society development. Kuluipa is a member of the Governing Council of the World Union of Spiritual Practices, a Member of the International Network of Snow leopard defenders LOSL, a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Agency for Community Development and Investment of the Kyrgyz Republic (ARIS), Member of the Council on Sustainable Development in the Context of Climate Change under the Speaker of the Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) of the Kyrgyz Republic, Member of the Advisory Committee of Anchor Schools for Youth Action on Climate Change in Central Asia at the initiative of the World Bank and also a Member of Global Steering Committee of Mountain Partnership Secretariat (alternative CA). 

She will be sharing information on RDF’s experience on Climate change mitigation and Snow leopard conservation, as well as on TK, cultural heritage.

Marlis Sarchaev, Lawyer and Advocacy Specialist, RDF, and will represent the Association of Farmers for the Cultivation and Processing of Medicinal Herbs “Birlik.”  This project, “Support to Development of a Green Agriculture by Local Communities,” implemented by RDF, had the goal of aiding climate change mitigation. This was achieved by creating a sustainable agricultural value chain model that prioritizes biodiversity preservation, enables adaptive production in response to environmental challenges, enhances productivity, and promotes the establishment of social and locally-rooted agro-enterprises. Consequently, the project led to the establishment of the “Birlik” Association of Farmers dedicated to cultivating and processing medicinal herbs. Currently, the association comprises 28 cooperatives and farms engaged in the cultivation and sale of medicinal plants in the Kyrgyz Republic.



Alina Zhenishbekova, Young Leader and Researcher, RDF – Alina Zhenishbekova is a Project Coordinator at the Rural Development Fund, where she oversees impactful initiatives aimed at improving the management of vital natural landscapes. Her role emphasizes expertise in community engagement and participatory methodologies, which will be prominently featured in her presentation of the project “Enhancing Chychkan Gorge Management in Kyrgyzstan.” This project empowers local communities to actively engage in decision-making, advancing effective conservation strategies.Moreover, Alina Zhenishbekova is a distinguished member of the Youth Platform within the International Land Coalition, a platform dedicated to addressing critical issues such as ecosystem restoration, land rights, and gender equality. She has actively participated in international youth forums centered on land-related topics and regional learning exchanges that underscore the significance of involving youth and women in decision-making processes concerning land rights.


Batma Kaldybek kyzy, Project Curator, RDF – Batma Kaldybek kyzy brings valuable experience in wildlife conservation and the dissemination of traditional knowledge. She leads the project “Snow Leopard Guardians: Reviving Traditional Knowledge for Conservation” and will share how the project engages youth and communities in preserving the snow leopard’s habitat through the dissemination of traditional knowledge and educational activities.




Elvira Maratova, Facilitator of the Regional Platform on Ecosystem Restoration at the International Land Coalition Asia – Elvira will present the platform’s vision, which acknowledges the value of established customary rules and practices that have preserved, regenerated, and sustained vital ecosystems over generations. This aligns with the broader objectives of climate change mitigation and wildlife conservation in the region.


Tuesday, September 26th, 2023 at 14:00pm Bishkek time


ZOOM, to join this talk, REGISTER HERE

Please note

  • If you have never used Zoom before, we recommend that you try the link 10 minutes before the start of the lecture.
  • Please feel free to write questions in the comment area and there will be time for questions/discussion at the end of the talk.
  • Please note that the session will be recorded and later featured on the SLN website. If you have concerns about this please let us know before the session.
We are also delighted to share that the Rural Development Fund has been honoured with the prestigious Jeonju International Award for the Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage and are excited to celebrate this remarkable achievement during the upcoming webinar.



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