My Snow Leopard international wildlife festival

My Snow Leopard international wildlife festival

25 June 2014

The My Snow Leopard international wildlife festival has taken place in the village of Shushenskoye, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, with the support of the Russian Geographical Society. The event culminated in an environmental forum devoted to the preservation of the snow leopard.


The two-week forum opened on 1 June, with participants presenting their projects in 10 categories: Study, Research Paper, Literary Work, Photography, Video, Choreographic Production, Theatrical Production, Vocal and Instrumental Music, Souvenir and Drawing. About 1,500 projects from every corner of Russia were submitted to the competition. Participants from the UK, US, Germany, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also were present.


Drawings accounted for the bulk of the projects. "More than half of the projects sent in for the competition are drawings, which isn't surprising," said Yulia Surman, deputy director of the Sayano-Shushensky nature reserve for environmental awareness, tourism and recreation. "Art is a universal language of communication and the easiest available way to participate in the forum for non-Russian speakers who wish to help preserve these rare and beautiful animals, snow leopards."


The My Snow Leopard festival took place in Shushenskoye for the second time. This year's organisers focused on the research aspect, encouraging the competitors to do a thorough study of the rare species preservation problem. "We selected the best studies and research papers from those sent by email," Surman said. "If the author lives too far away and could not travel to the festival, the project was presented by one of the local school students. Many pupils who defended these projects done by someone else eventually embraced the subject and decided to present their own projects the next time."


The projects were carefully selected by the jury; two biologists from the Sayano-Shushensky nature reserve helped the pupils prepare their presentations – Dr Timur Mukhamediyev and Dr Alexander Zolotykh. The best works were also presented during the Snow Leopard: Survive talk show in the reserve's conference room on 15 June.


The event included an arts and crafts display, a children's musical production Jumanji: Sayan-Hindu Kush-Himalaya, and a fashion show of a clothing collection specially designed for the festival.


On 14 June, Shushenskoye featured a gala show where vocalist Margarita Shumakova performed her song Mongol, dedicated to the most famous snow leopard in Russia that lives in the Sayano-Shushensky nature reserve.


The forum closed with an art-tour, where the winners could visit and explorethe snow leopard habitat sites in the reserve.