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Saving Wild Tigers



RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE KATHMANDU GLOBAL TIGER WORKSHOP 2009

“Saving wild tigers is our test.  If we pass, we get to keep the planet.”
(October 30, 2009)

Preamble

Tigers are symbols of all that is powerful, mystical, and beautiful in nature.  As an apex species, they reflect the health of the ecosystems in which they live and on which people depend.  Unfortunately, adverse human activities have driven wild tigers to the brink of extinction.  Over the past century, their numbers fell from 100,000 to about 3,500 today.  These remaining tigers live in small refuges scattered across their once-vast domain in Asia.  Without immediate, urgent, and transformational actions, wild tigers will disappear forever.

More than 250 experts on tigers and participants from 13 of the 14 tiger range countries met in Kathmandu, Nepal, from October 27-30, 2009.  We identified the transformational actions that will stop the tiger’s decline and achieve the goal of doubling the population of wild tigers within the next ten years.

We believe that collective political commitment from all levels of government is the first and most important action required to save wild tigers.

Recommendations

We recommend the following:

1.Celebrate 2010, Year of the Tiger, throughout the world, to create global awareness of the critical plight of the wild tiger and enlist broad and deep support for their conservation.

2.Ensure strict protection of wild tigers and their core breeding areas.

3.Conserve and manage buffer zones and corridors that connect core tiger breeding areas in tiger landscapes.

4.Tiger range countries stop infrastructure projects in core tiger breeding areas and finance institutions avoid financing development projects that adversely affect critical tiger habitats.

5.Empower local communities that live in and around tiger landscapes with sustainable economic incentives and appropriate technologies to minimize human-tiger conflict.

6.Make core/critical tiger habitats truly inviolate by incentive-driven, generous, participatory, and voluntary relocation.

7.All countries implement CITES resolution Conf. 12.5 “Conservation of and trade in tigers and other Appendix I Asian big cat species.”

8.Enhance the capacity of INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the CITES Secretariat, and regional wildlife enforcement networks (including ASEAN-WEN) to more effectively and sustainably combat the illegal trade in wildlife at the international level and through relevant national agencies; and implement the Manifesto on Combating Wildlife Crime in Asia, decided in Pattaya, Thailand, in April, 2009.

9.Conduct focused outreach to target audiences to reduce demand for tiger parts and enhance demand for live tigers living in the wild.

10.The international community makes a financial commitment to support long-term behaviour-change campaigns with measureable outcomes on tiger conservation in the wild.

11.Intensify regional cooperation for better management and enforcement in transboundary tiger landscapes.

12.Implement capacity development programs to achieve effective landscape and protected-area management.

13.Use innovative science and technology to closely monitor and protect wild tigers and their prey and habitats.

14.Adopt innovative, sustainable mechanisms to finance wild tiger conservation.

15.Generate collective support for tiger range countries from the international donor community to reverse the decline of wild tigers now.

We thank the Government of Nepal and the organizers and sponsors of the Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop 2009 for their support and commitment to this transformational event.

These recommendations will be presented to the ministers of the tiger range countries, who will meet in Thailand in January 2010.  We expect the ministers at that meeting to agree to these transformational wild tiger conservation measures and submit the appropriately updated national action plans to heads of governments of the tiger range countries for approval prior to their summit in Vladivostok, Russia in the Fall of 2010, to ensure continued long-term global political commitment and action to saving wild tigers.  We will subsequently work with even greater resolve to conserve wild tigers throughout their range.  With this, we will pass our test to keep the planet.


 

 

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