NEW DELHI: Environmentalist and non-governmental organisations have appealed to Chinese President Hu Jintao to strictly enforce the ban on trade in tigers and their parts in China as required under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
If not checked now, the world would face extinction of tigers, a joint statement said. Mr. Hu is scheduled to arrive in India on Monday.
Tiger populations were recovering in a few places and in others they were declining steeply. Tigers occupied 40 per cent less habitat than they did 10 years ago and only 7 per cent of their historic range. There were many threats to the survival of tigers, including habitat destruction, prey loss and conversion of forests to agriculture.
"We, the undersigned organisations, applaud that law and encourage China to redouble its efforts to enforce this exemplary ban. Any reopening of trade in tiger products, even on a limited basis, would open a floodgate of consumption in the world's fastest-growing economy. The status of the tiger in the wild is now so precarious that any additional poaching pressure could jeopardise remaining tiger populations by rendering law enforcement impossible," the statement said.