Siri Okamoto


Siri Okamoto's picture
Name: Siri Okamoto
Organization: Snow Leopard Trust

Challenge Entries

We seek to change the negative relationship between herders and snow leopards in rural Mongolia. Snow leopards are an endangered big cat and important apex predator throughout Central Asia. Mongolia is home to the second largest population of snow leopards in the world, concentrated in rural area dominated by herding families. These families live below the poverty line and rely heavily on raising livestock. They come into conflict with the cats over livestock depredation, which causes severe economic hardship that fuels poaching and retribution killing of snow leopards.

Snow Leopard Enterprises (SLE) helps rural herding communities manage and run grassroots, entrepreneurial handicraft-making businesses. To participate in the program, herders agree to halt the poaching of endangered snow leopards and their prey. In return, the program provides access to trainings, micro-credit loans, cash, and international markets where their goods can be sold.