Hamid Zohrabi, the Natural Environment Deputy of the Department of Environment, announced the drafting of the third phase document in the technical committee of the Asian Cheetah Conservation Project. The third phase of the project will begin later this year.
Requirements, opportunities, threats and project policies were also proposed in a team of experts, volunteers and project partners. This draft including goals, activities, indicators and the expected outputs of the project in the third phase has been presented for 5 years to the UNDP in Tehran.
After the confirmation of the final document, the third phase of the project will be initiated with a memorandum of understanding signed between the UNEP and the Department of Environment and with the financial support of the DOE and international organizations.
In the third phase of the project, we try to ensure that the scope of monitoring is not focused solely on protected areas and that more central monitoring is carried out in Cheetah immigration corridors. It also emphasizes the involvement of all beneficiaries, especially the local community, and their sustainable livelihoods. In the draft document, such issues as «compilation and implementation of a comprehensive plan for the management of cheetah habitats with the assistance of local beneficiaries» and «systematic monitoring of the population of cheetahs and prey in all potential natural habitats and migration tracks» are the expected outcomes of the third phase.
Also «Improving the protection of cheetahs and their prey by training human resources and game guards», «establishing a plan for protection outside the natural arena (enclosed natural reserves, reproduction in captivity),» «establishment of a comprehensive plan for raising public awareness with the gathering of local communities and the general public», «the elaboration of a comprehensive plan for sustainable alternative livelihoods (ecotourism, agriculture and animal husbandry…) through cooperative approaches «and» identification of conflicts between wildlife and local communities and implementing plans to resolve conflicts in a cooperative way» are other expected outcomes of the project in the third phase.
«Strengthening cooperation between national and provincial beneficiaries» and «raising awareness and capacity building for national, provincial and local officials (such as judges, parliament representatives, and executives)» are among the other outcomes expected by the third phase of the project.
Financing of the third phase will also be identified after the finalization of the third phase document, and financial assessment. The International Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the participation of a large collection of national and international experts started its work.
Annual Meeting of beneficiaries of the Asiatic Cheetah Conservation Project
Dated Jun. 2018 27 in preparation and development of the next 5 year document of the Asiatic Cheetah Conservation Project, with the presence of the deputy of the Natural Environment and Biodiversity, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, beneficiaries, managers of technical deputy offices and office of International Affairs, Security, Protective Units, Environmental Managers of the Provinces inhabiting cheetahs, Representatives of Local Communities Local councils, Village Managers ,and Members of the Asiatic Cheetah Conservation Technical Committee, the annual meeting was held in Sarv Hall in Pardisan Park of the Department of Environment and was hosted by the Secretariat of the Cheetah Conservation and the cooperation of the UNDP under the leadership of the deputy of the Natural Environment.
The results of this meeting (workshop) were recorded with the following description in order to be considered in the technical committee.
• According to the agenda, after reading the holy Quran, the National Anthem and the Cheetah video clip were played; then, the project assistant director welcomed the guests and described the process of the preparation of the five-year document as follows: Initially, the project office requested, through a circular signed by the Natural Resources deputy, from all the provinces to announce their suggestions, problems and requirements of the provinces in relation to the cheetahs and the project and the related habitats.
The responses were received by the provinces, and discussed with the international experts, Mr. Urs Breitenmoser and Mr.Stefan Ostrofsky.
The meeting was set up with the presence of all the activists involved in the conservation of cheetahs, including active institutes in this regard, universities, specialized offices,former presidents of the project, and the students who were for and against the project.
Opinions of provinces and experts were voted. The result was drawn up during a contract with Mrs. Korina Kaisli in the form of a draft of a 5 year document and sent to the project office, the Office of the Assistant Director and UNDP, which is currently under consideration in the Cheetah Conservation Technical Committee and to complete it, it is necessary to consider the participants› points of view in the meeting.
• The next speaker, Mr. Zohrabi, the deputy of the Natural Environment Center, greeted all the participants, and thanked Mrs. Anne Marie Carlsen, deputy assistant secretary of the United Nations Development Program for the support of the project, The overall policies of the organization, in particular the Natural Environment Deputy in support of the cheetahs and the project, as well as the allocation of significant credits from the national currency to the cheetah habitats and communicating it to the provinces inhabiting cheetahs in order to eliminate road threats and fencings, the purchase of customary livestock breeders› entitlements and the organization›s payment to UNDP, with the aim of continuing the project, were well received by the audience. Ms. Anne Marie Carlsen and UNDP experts were expected to continue their cooperation. At the same time, it has been announced to the provinces inhabiting cheetahs that it is necessary to pay more attention to the conservation of the cheetah habitats and corridors.
• Mrs. Anne Marie Carlsen thanked the Natural Environment Deputy for drafting the project document and the formation of a technical committee, as well as all who worked hard on this path. While describing UNDP policies on the importance of protecting Asiatic cheetah, she expressed her readiness for any kind of cooperation and mutually expected that the organization would make its payment to UNDP.
•Dr. Nezami University professor and project consultant in a powerpoint›s comprehensive report presented the status of the cheetahs and the project records in an expansive manner, which was well received.
• Next speakers Soleimani and Khosravi from UNDP explained in detail how to continue the meeting and receive the impressions of the invitees, as follows: At first, three sheets of green paper with markers were distributed among the members, in order to communicate to each individual person›s problem in writing. The fourth sheets of paper in blue, were again given to people to record the problems› solutions. Distributed papers were collected and classified and divided into three groups. The results of the activity of each of the three groups are as follows:
Group A: The group facilitator Mr. Soleimani (Manager), Subject: Management problems in habitats
Supporting and fostering a suitable platform for participation and activities of the NGOs in the habitats and attracting and directing private, national and international funding for conservation and management of species in the habitat. Preparation of an analytical report of the rules and regulations related to cheetahs and their habitats and the provision of related solutions.
Following up and approving and implementing the National Conservation Plan for Asiatic Cheetah and its habitats
Efforts to refer all cheetah development plans and decisions in surrounding habitats to the national working group on endangered species
An attempt to allocate a percentage of the budget for development projects in the Cheetah habitats to implement measures and protection
Group B: Facilitator Ms. Mehrdadi, Subject: Lack of security and equipment in habitats and corridors
Adjusting the number of livestock
Collecting the surface water and creating cisterns down the plain
Education, awareness and capacity building of government decision makers
Obligation of the beneficiary to comply with environmental standards and compensation for road accidents, Providing equipment and facilities, Creating special reserves in the corridors along the areas, Restoration and rehabilitation of springs and provision of water resources , Getting Green tax from mines, Compensation for construction projects
Sharing local people in economic interests
The use of modern technology in conservation
Hiring game guards, Providing and updating and implementing a comprehensive plan for managing areas, Attracting popular contributions to strengthen protection, Creating a concern and demand (public) in order to correctly execute the duties of each organization Developing a common action plan by specifying the tasks of the organizations, Training and raising the level of knowledge of managers and decision makers of the three forces of knowledge and research , Browsing the past and recording the experiences, Establishment of the national working group on the conservation of endangered species, Collaboration between beneficiaries and related organizations in protecting cheetahs.
Group C: facilitator Mr. Pourmirzai
Increasing the participation of local communities and reducing aggression on habitats
Creation of alternative livelihoods and non-natural resources, Use of insurance capability for other important livelihoods, Habitat Valuation (Management Plan), Holding workshops for local communities, Organizing livestock, Teachers, experts and game guard training.
Mr. Khosravi of UNDP and Mr. Kargar and Mr. Hakimi were responsible for monitoring the three groups and collecting comments.
The highlights of the day were summed up at 5 p.m.by the deputy of the Natural Environment and the efforts of all UNDP officials and experts were appreciated. A brochure, Persian cheetah magazine, a cheetah-related books and posters were distributed among all members.