SHEN is a women led handicraft collective initiated by Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Snow Leopard Trust towards conservation of Snow Leopards in the Spiti Valley, a Trans-Himalayan region of India.
SHEN means ‘snow leopard’ in the Spitian language. This initiative provides women from Spiti with skill development and design interventions to create these beautiful products. This helps them offset livestock predation by carnivores, diversify their income and encourage participation in wildlife conservation initiatives.
Nature Conservation Foundation and Snow Leopard Trust have been working for over 15 years on conserving the population of Snow Leopard and its prey species in the trans-Himalayan landscape of India. While various conservation initiatives carried out over the years have helped conserve the Snow Leopards, they continue to explore newer ways to strengthen their conservation focus. One such conservation initiative that has generated interest with local communities in this region is that of setting up an enterprise to produce and sell local products that could supplement their livelihood. Coupled with a strong conservation link, the enterprise could help further reinforce their sustained efforts to protect these endangered species.