The CIC Markhor Award celebrates outstanding conservation performance by individuals, private or public institutions, enterprises, or projects that link conservation of biodiversity to human livelihood through the principles of sustainable use, in particular hunting, as part of wildlife and ecosystem management.
Rolf D. Baldus conceived of this award whilst president of the former CIC Tropical Game Commission. The search for a name that would do the concept justice soon led to the exemplary Pakistani success in the conservation of mountain ungulates. Spearheaded by communities in the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan, and in close cooperation with WWF-Pakistan and IUCN-Pakistan, a number of different projects resulted in an astonishing recovery of markhor subspecies such as the Astore Markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri), the Kashmir Markhor (Capra falconeri cashmiriensis), and the Suleiman Markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni). The efforts also benefited other mountain ungulates and even predators like the snow leopard (Uncia uncia).
The well-known German wildlife artist Bodo Meier created an impressive Suleiman Markhor head as logo and the Spanish taxidermist and artist Ramon Garoz from Los Yébenes, a village close to Toledo, sculpted an impressive 44 cm-tall Suleiman Markhor head in bronze.
The Markhor Award and Bronze is presented biennially at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP). The first award ceremony took place at CBD CoP 9 in Bonn in 2008 and the CIC Markhor Award was presented jointly to the Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique, and to the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor which links the Niassa Reserve with Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve. In 2010, the award ceremony took place during the CBD CoP 10 in Nagoya, Japan. Members of the Society for Torghar Environmental Protection (STEP) celebrated their deserved recognition enthusiastically on the main stage of the conference venue.
And now in 2012, at the 11th Conference of the Parties in Hyderabad, India, the CIC Markhor Award goes back to Africa and recognizes the achievements of the Namibia Communal Conservancy Movement represented by Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and Namibia Association of CBNRM Support Organizations (NACSO).
Author: Gerhard R Damm