BIOCOS Nepal (Biodiversity Conservation Society Nepal) and Ant Foundation Nepal have jointly brought this ‘Manang Friendship Match for Conservation; together for Yak and Snow leopard’ with support from Wild and Free Foundation, Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, WWF Nepal, National Sports Council, Rural Municipalities of Manang District, Nepal Telecom, Nepal Airlines, Film Journalist Association Nepal , Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalist , Nepal Sports Journalist Forum and  various other organizations.

Program in brief

Snow leopard is endemic to Asia and only 2710 to 3383 adult individuals are estimated to have remained in the wild. In Nepal, the population of snow leopards remains between 350 – 500 individuals. These leopards are threatened by poaching and retaliatory killing. Yak are companions of people of Himalayas. Both are the identity of the Himalayas. This friendship match aims to bring youths of Manang to the football ground to play with celebrities to save yak and conserve snow leopards. 

This Friendship Match will be conducted in Timang Football ground (2600m altitude from mean sea level), Pisang Football ground (3100m) and Mungji Football Ground (3200m) of Manang district, Annapurna Conservation Area. 

18 celebrities including Prasant Tamrakar, Hari Khadka, Anil Gurung, Niru Thapa, Asmita Ranpal, Sita Tamang, Upendra Man Singh, Nabin Neupane, Aanchal Sharma, Trichu Rai, Naren Khadka, Aaryan Adhikari, Srichchha Pradhan (Miss Nepal World 2023), Sophiya Bhujel (Miss Universe Nepal 2022), Samarpan J Karki (Mr. Nepal 2023), Nimesh Kapali (Mr. Nepal 2023, 1st Runner up), Jems Pradhan, Presca Udas, will be participating as Team Himalayan Snow Leopard.

Team Kanjisara players include Munindra Jung Gurung , Lokendra Ghale , Dil Bahadur Gurung , Lopsang Lama, Sabin Shrestha , Mangal Dev Gurung, Lil Bahadur Gurung, Laxman Gauli, Dhan Bahadur Gauchan, Kaile Gurung, Khadga Jung Gurung, Ganesh Ghale , Binod Lama , Dipendra Godar , Dawa Chhiring Lama & Mingmar Dolma Lama .

Team Pisang players areLundhup Gurung, Palden Gurung, Japes Gurung, Bijendra Gurung, Lakpa Gurung, Ram Bahadur Gurung, Karma Chippy, Arjun Gurung, Naresh Gurung, Karma Ngudup, Lakpa Tashi Lama Raju Gurung , Dorjee Gurung, Karma Lama  & Mingmar Gurung .

Team Manang players are Sonam Lama, Pema Tsering Gurung, Karma Tashi Gurung, Kamsung Lama, Mukhiya Thapa, Dorje Gurung, Depak Gurung, Mukhiya Rai, Karma Wangel Gurung, Tenzen Sherap Lama, Jamyang Gurung, Mukhiya Gurung, Sonam Gurung & Jivan Gurung are  the regional teams represented by youths from Manang, Pisang, Chame municipalities of Manang district. 

The event will take place from 10-15 September, 2023. The football matches will be held on 11 September in Timang, 12 September in Pisang and 13 September in Manang. It will be conducted among Team Himalayan Snow Leopard (which will be represented by celebrities), Kajisara Yak (Youths of Chame municipality, Manang), Pisang Yak (Youths of Pisang) and Manang Yak (youths of Manang). 

Attraction of the programs

  • Friendship Football Match between celebrities and local youths as awareness campaign to conserve snow leopard and nature, save yaks and save Himalayas from global warming. Participation of Nepal’s renowned celebrities of different fields; film, sports (football and taekwondo) and music to play football with local youth’s clubs of different regions (Chame, Pisang and Manang) of Manang
  • Local cultural shows performed by women group and local youths
  • Tour to Manang, one of Tran-Himalayan districts of Nepal; numerous waterfalls, Annapurna Himalayan Range, Manasalu Himalaya Range, Green Lake, Beautiful Lake, Monasteries, Alpine forest are major attraction of the trip
  • Short hike to snow leopard habitat with Dr. Paras Bikram Singh who has been researching in Himalayan Musk Deer and Snow leopard for 10 years and interaction with Dr. Jeff Munti fering, International Conservation Biologist from USA. Both of them will accompany the team throughout the trip to Manang. Additionally, participants will get the opportunity to interact with local people to know their experience in participatory conservation.
  • Matches will be held on grounds in high altitudes with an amazing view
  • Meet with Nepal’s renowned wildlife photographers, local social activists and various media personnel

The Press meet was conducted in Nepal Tourism Board, Bhirkutimandap, Kathmandu on 27 August, 2023 where various celebreties, media and players were present for the event.

BIOCOS Nepal is a non-governmental, non-profit-making and apolitical organization with the belief that locals are real guardians of flora and fauna, and promoting participation in conservation through community and school based awareness initiatives as well as applied wildlife research.

Ant Foundation is a voluntary organization committed to driving social welfare and sustainable development in underserved communities. Our mission is to work hand in hand with these communities, fostering self-reliance, education, healthcare, and social inclusion to create a brighter and more equitable future for all. The entire tour will be managed by Namaste Manang.

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