Global Tiger Recovery Program
7th Feb, 2019
3rd Stocktaking Conference on the Global Tiger Recovery Program held in New Delhi, January 2019, highlights the world to fall short of its targets of doubling the tiger population.
- Petersburg Declaration on doubling the tiger population was signed in 2010 under which all 13 tiger range countries in Asia and partner organizations of the Global Tiger Initiative agreed to a Global Tiger Recovery Program, the first-ever coordinated, range-wide and international effort to save the world tigers.
- The tiger range countries that are part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. However, China and Indonesia were not present at the conference.
- The Declaration in turn established 29 July as the International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) to be observed annually to raise awareness for tiger conservation.
- Nearly a decade has passed since the governments of these 13 tiger home range countries came together to double the global tiger population (T X 2)by 2022 as envisaged by the Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservationissued at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. However the progress on the targets envisaged by the declaration has not been at par.
- Moreover, over one-third of tiger conservation sites in the world are severely at risk of losing their wild tigers — the majority of which are in Southeast Asia.
- Known hot spots for illegal trade in tiger parts include the Indo-Nepalese border, South India, Central India, Mekong-China, Indonesia-China and Russia-China
- As per the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS) survey of tiger sites done in 2018 many of these areas lack basic plans for effective management, with over 60 per cent of the sites facing several limitations in anti-poaching.
- It is has been founded that in the last century 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared, with only around 3,000 left alive.
- Tigers are on the brink of extinction. Many factors have caused their numbers to fall, including habitat loss, hunting and poaching, climate change.Only 12.5 percent of the tiger conservation areas meet the globally agreed upon science-based standards.
- However, countries like India, Nepal and Russia have shown that tiger recovery is possible, despite challenges in poaching, funding and sustaining community livelihoods, which can be overcome with strong political commitment.
- The efforts to step up global commitment to protect the remaining wild tiger populations should therefore be assisted by centralized data bank of all tiger range countries, stringent law enforcement and enhanced cross-country cooperation between countries where there is high demand for tiger parts as well as countries which are home to tiger populations. Nepal has already proved that zero poaching is possible with a professionalized approach to wildlife protection. Effective management is thus the single most important action and to achieve this, long-term investment in tiger conservation areas is absolutely essential.