Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 10251265
FFI works by invitation around the world to save species from extinction, habitats from destruction and to encourage sustainable development. Formed in 1903 in the United Kingdom, FFI acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, are based on sound science and take account of human needs. We work through partnerships that ensure local ownership and lasting results and believe success lies in devising strategies that both conserve biodiversity and contribute to human development. Our guiding principles are to: respond to local needs, respect national priorities, develop strategic partnerships and strengthen our partners’ capacity.
Our program of activities in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Eurasia is delivered principally through: building capacity to equip local people and agencies to manage their natural heritage; monitoring causes of biodiversity loss and its impact on local people, identifying and implementing solutions that benefit people and wildlife; and securing threatened areas of high biodiversity importance through land purchase and local conservation agreements.
FFI has been active in Eurasia since 1995. As one of the few international conservation NGOs working in this region we have established a strong reputation for dealing with the unique problems for biodiversity, which result from economic transition in many of the countries. Within the massive area of Eurasia (over 35,000,000 km2), we have focused operations in three core subregions: Central Asia, the Caucasus and Caspian, and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In addition, we are undertaking emergency interventions on the Iberian Peninsula on Iberian lynx conservation and historically have worked in the Middle East (Jordan) and Turkey. During this time we have built significant experience in endangered species conservation, conservation capacity building development, working with local communities, biodiversity planning, public awareness and engagement with the corporate sector in the region.
FFI has been working on the conservation of the critically endangered saiga antelope Saiga tatarica on the Ustyurt Plateau in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan since 2004. The main pillars of our work have been education and awareness raising, community engagement, alternative livelihood development, policy and legislation support, incorporating the business sector and research. In close cooperation with the Institute of Zoology, Tashkent, awareness raising campaigns addressing school children and the wider public were conducted on the Uzbek Ustyurt. We have actively engaged local communities in saiga conservation by establishing 10 local community-driven ‘Saiga Friends’ Groups, which act as advocates for saiga protection and biodiversity conservation in the region. In addition, 12 local saiga monitors, personed primarily by hunters and former poachers, have been established, which play an active role in saiga population monitoring. We are supporting the re-designating the Saigachy protected area on the Ustyurt and have organised joint meetings with extractive industries employed on the Ustyurt to incorporate conservation planning into their activities. Research has been conducted on saiga population dynamics and is ongoing for potential climate change impact on the steppe ecosystem. In 2004 and 2005 we supported the development of a number of alternative livelihoods projects in Bosoi village on the Kazakh Ustyurt and plan to repeat this activity on the Ustyurt in 2010.
Project 10251265 location - Uzbekistan, Asia