Vladimir Putin to discuss Far Eastern leopard's conservation at APEC Leaders’ Meeting

Vladimir Putin to discuss Far Eastern leopard's conservation at APEC Leaders’ Meeting

6 September 2012

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Hu Jintao will discuss prospects for establishing the Russian-Chinese wildlife reserve to preserve the Far Eastern leopard population at the upcoming APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok.


Before his trip to Vladivostok, Putin visited the Flight of Hope scientific project in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area and met with local environmental experts. Valentin Ilyashenko, the head of the biodiversity preservation and biological resources laboratory at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, updated the President on the efforts that the institute makes to preserve endangered and dwindling animal species.


Scientists elaborated on the efforts that are being made to preserve the population of the Amur tiger, the polar bear, the white whale, the snow leopard, and the Far Eastern leopard in Russian wildlife and nature reserves. Ilyashenko stressed that the preservation of the Far Eastern leopard's population is the most topical issue today, as only 50 of these rare animals remain.


“Their habitat spans Russia and China,” the expert said. “So, it is difficult to hold full-fledged actions to preserve the species.” Russian scientists have always worked in touch with their Chinese partners, but an intergovernmental agreement should be signed to strengthen the efforts, he added.


Putin promised to discuss the matter with the Chinese leader in Vladivostok and asked scientists to draw up a detailed explanatory note.


“This is an important and deserving endeavor for all countries,” Putin said. “I will discuss the joint establishment of a nature reserve to preserve the Far Eastern leopard's population with Hu Jintao.”


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At the summit, Vladimir Putin placed an increased emphasis on the conservation of biological diversity and Russia’s experience in fighting poaching and illegal trade in rare and endangered animals. Summit participants showed a strong interest in Russia's programmes and projects to protect various endangered species, including the Far Eastern leopard.


“We believe this area offers broad opportunities for cooperation,” he said. “Some environmental issues have distinctive economic character. For instance, I am referring to efforts to clean up cross-border river beds, and everything related to their ecological safety. The problem is quite significant and topical, and it has an economic dimension.”