|Tiger conservation forum promises long term commitment
3 July 2010
Delhi, India - At a meeting of the Global Tiger forum (GTF) this
week, government representatives of GTF member tiger range countries
and other member countries showed a greater desire to make stronger
commitments to tiger conservation.
There are 13 countries
worldwide that still have tigers in the wild, although the numbers are
very low. Without immediate strong action, the next few years will be
catastrophic for wild tigers.
GTF is the only
inter-governmental body representing countries that still have wild
tigers, and it is responsible for facilitating, coordinating and
strengthening these governments’ commitments and actions towards saving
tigers in the wild.
The two day meeting in New Delhi focused
on developing a new strategy for the GTF, learning from conservation
approaches across range countries and focusing on issues that can be
replicated and strengthened, in efforts to galvanize the political will
needed to save the iconic species from extinction. Representatives from
eight tiger range countries including India and renowned tiger experts
from organizations such as Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Wildlife
Protection Society of India (WPSI), Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
“GTF can play a lead role through close
collaboration with tiger range countries and other organizations to
check international hotspots of tiger trafficking, besides evolving a
regional roadmap to strengthen global tiger conservation through
respective National Action Plans, said Indian Minister of Environment,
Shri Jairam Ramesh in his message. “The commitment from Tiger Range
Countries is important at this juncture to revitalize and strengthen
the forum. I appeal to all Tiger Range Countries for their active
participation in this regard,” he added.
methodology of conservation approaches on monitoring and habitat
management, increasing law enforcement, linking critical area systems
and looking at the issue of habitat fragmentation are the common issues
that the countries addressed at the meeting. Urgent points also
discussed included the need for new awareness-raising campaigns,
greater capacity and solutions to transboundary issues such as trade.
of a revised strategy for the GTF and a plan on governance and
implementation are the two outcomes that will mark the success of this
meeting,” said HE Shri Deepak Bohara, Chairperson of GTF and Minster
for Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal.
an organization that has a long history of initiatives for tiger
conservation, dating back to the launch of Project Tiger in 1973,
welcomed these new commitments for tiger conservation.
GTF being the only inter-governmental body for Tigers is ideally suited
to offer a new paradigm for conserving this species among its range
countries. We have no time to lose since the wild tiger population is
at its tipping point,” said Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO,
WWF-India. “WWF remains committed to supporting range state governments
as they take on this challenging task.”
The GTF was started
in 1993 by tiger range states as a conduit for those countries to
collaborate on a global plan for tiger conservation. Seven tiger range
countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and
Vietnam) are members of the GTF as well as the UK along with
non-governmental organizations, including WWF and TRAFFIC.
are particularly in the spotlight during this year which also happens
to be the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar. With
possibly as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild, WWF’s focus is on
securing political commitments to double the wild tiger population by
the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.