Milestone Tiger Meeting Set To Create Strong Recovery Agenda
WWF Indonesia CEO Dr. Efransjah and
WWF Tiger programme leader Michael Baltzer issued
the following statement
ahead of the pre-Tiger Summit meeting starting Monday in Bali.
“Individual governments have come to Bali with strong national plans to help tigers recover in their countries, but they cannot do it by themselves,” Baltzer said. “These governments now must collectively lay the groundwork for a global plan to save wild tigers ahead of the Tiger Summit in Russia.”
“They must come together with a cohesive strategy to ensure the survival of this iconic species.”
Senior government officials from the 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) – Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam are attending the meeting.
“Indonesia has seized the opportunity to further this process, showing a special commitment to saving wild tigers after President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed to the recent partnership with Norway to stem forest loss, which will also save critical tiger habitat”.
“The Bali meeting is the perfect stage for Indonesia to make even stronger commitments to conservation,” Dr. Efransjah said. “WWF supports Indonesia bid to save tigers in the wild globally while preserving its own forests, which will reduce emissions and protect its natural heritage.”
The Bali meeting is expected to produce a draft Global Tiger Recovery Programme and a “Leaders Declaration,” which will be discussed at the Tiger Summit in Russia.
World tiger experts and representatives from other NGOs, including the Global Tiger Initiative, also are attending. The meeting is a prelude to the Heads of Government Tiger Summit, scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia from 15-18 Sept. 2010.
The Bali meeting is a follow up to earlier governmental meetings on tiger conservation. The first in Kathmandu, Nepal in October 2009, recommended a series of 15 global actions that need to be taken to change the trajectory of tigers from extinction to recovery, as well as commitments from several tiger range countries. The Kathmandu meeting was followed by the first Asian ministerial conference on tiger conservation held in Hua Hin, Thailand in January 2010, and which adopted the goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.
Tigers are in a dire situation. The global wild population is reduced to an estimated 3,200 individuals. From nine tiger sub-species, only six exist today — the Sumatran, Bengal, Amur, Indochinese, South China and Malayan tiger. Threats to the tiger include massive habitat fragmentation and destruction, loss of prey, poaching and illegal trade. Tigers are also lost due to retaliatory killing when they come into conflict with villagers living around tiger habitat.
With an estimated 400 Sumatran tigers left, or 12 percent of the global tiger population, Indonesia has a key role to play in the global tiger recovery programme.