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While laws are important to protect endangered wildlife like snow leopards, conservation must also seek strategies that go beyond the conventional policing approach. Especially where the majority of tangible impacts are negative (such as livestock loss), solutions that bring positive benefits to local people and communities are essential to improve the value local people attach to saving snow leopards. Typically, this all-too-common issue is addressed through ‘outreach and awareness’ campaigns that theorize that if the people just knew more about snow leopards and their threats than they would help protect them. While certainly sharing information about snow leopard biology and what they need to survive are important, we believe that harnessing the snow leopard’s currency to create opportunities that provide tangible benefits, especially to youth by supporting activities they value will demonstrate that securing a future for snow leopards is also helping enrich lives and livelihoods. We reinforce this by engaging with celebrities in Nepal to help bring this message of hope and coexistence to the communities that bear the bulk of the burden. In essence, we believe that by harnessing three key emotions (pride, gratitude, and compassion) for snow leopards through football we will make significant contributions towards improving the situation for both youth and their snow leopards. In our conservation context, we believe harnessing these emotions will help offset some of the negative feelings and impacts of living with snow leopards and improve the value they attach to saving them. Given the popularity and importance of football in Nepal, it is hard to imagine a more fitting mechanism to connect youth in rural communities with protecting their snow leopards by creating new opportunities to play football that is sponsored by and catalyzed from successful and lasting snow leopard conservation
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