In his opening remarks, Mr Ivanov announced that over the last two years, the number of the Far Eastern Amur leopards increased nearly twofold. As of today, 57 leopards have been identified.
Sergei Ivanov noted that since signing the Cooperation Agreement between the Land of the Leopard National Park and bordering Chinese preserves, monitoring of the leopard population is being carried out jointly with Chinese experts. Mr Ivanov expressed the opinion that current conditions for protecting the Far Eastern leopards allow for the promotion of ecotourism to observe leopards and Amur tigers in their natural habitats.
The Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office also stressed that a new article in the Criminal Code stipulates penalties not only for poaching but also for the possession and distribution of the Far Eastern leopard skins.
In addition, Sergei Ivanov expressed hope that the Narva tunnel will be in operation by the end of 2015, ensuring that leopard migration routes do not intersect with highways.