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Technical meeting on saiga conservation

On 18 June 2013, in Astana city, the Committee of Forestry and Hunting of the Ministry of Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Secretariat of the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) held a technical meeting on the issues related to saiga conservation.

Memorandum of understanding between the Government of Kazakhstan and the Secretariat of the Bonn Convention was signed in September 2006 in Almaty. Then was adopted the Plan of action for conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the saiga antelope.

Development of the international cooperation contributes to the creation of favorable relationship between States to resolve the many trans-boundary problems. As Kazakhstan is located on the migration routes of many species of animals, protection of which is impossible without close cooperation with other States, to conserve migratory saiga populations were signed the agreements of the Government of Kazakhstan with the Governments of Turkmenistan (2007), Uzbekistan (2010), and an agreement was also signed between the Ministry of Agriculture of the RK and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation (2012). Objects of these agreements are Usturt and Ural saiga populations.

Kazakhstan is inhabited by three saiga population. Thus, Kazakhstan plays a key role in the conservation of this species at the global level. For the last 5 years in Kazakhstan on the implementation of the programme for the saiga antelope were allocated 2.1 bn. tenge.

Contrary to the high level of poaching caused by the constant growth of demand on saiga horns from traditional Chinese medicine, and despite the cases of mass death of animals from disease in 2010-2012 for the past 5 years the population of saiga in Kazakhstan grew by almost 2.3 times, or 61 thousand to 137 thousand individuals. This became possible thanks to the measures to fulfill the obligations taken by Kazakhstan in the framework of the Memorandum of understanding and Plan of action, signed by all the countries in which the saiga inhabits.

During the technical meeting, parties discussed issues to minimize the negative impact of new infrastructure facilities (barriers on the border, pipelines, roads, rail and other) in the distribution of the saiga population status of the species.

In addition, were discussed questions of development of the international virtual resource centre, which will accumulate all the relevant information concerning the saiga. This center was established jointly with the Saiga Conservation Alliance and Kazakhstan Association for Conservation of Biodiversity and serves as a rapid and high quality of coordination of actions on various issues of conservation of this species, including scientific publications,

project information, educational programs, experts, and on the underlying threats to sustainable development of the world population of saiga.

The work of the technical meeting was attended by representatives of the Secretariat of Bonn Convention and CITES Convention, the representatives of the countries participating in the Memorandum of understanding (Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia), representatives of the international research communities, as well as organizations involved in saiga conservation.

Press service

of the Ministry of Environment Protection of the RK