Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop declares 2010 as "Year of Tiger"
KATHMANDU, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The four-day Global Tiger Workshop held in Nepali capital Kathmandu, which concluded Friday with a 17-point recommendation, is a beginning in the right direction to save the tiger species and their habitats.
This is the first time that a conference has been organized for the protection of the tigers.
Some 200 representatives, including the 14 tiger range countries -- Nepal, India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- have laid down concrete suggestions for the next ministerial meeting ultimately to be taken up by the Bangkok Summit on Tiger Preservation to be attended by head of states.
They have called for declaring 2010 as the "Year of Tiger" , strengthening regional cooperation and discouraging encroachment through infrastructure development, giving community incentives tothe poor around forest areas and strengthening law enforcement mechanism against rising poaching activities.
Recommendations and demands were initiated to draw urgent attention of the world leaders, especially those countries where illegal trafficking in animal parts continue unabated.
It is a matter of disgrace that people have entered into an era of war with the wild. The declining rates of the endangered species such as the wild tigers, which now number only about 3,500,their prey base and habitat loss is testimony to that fact. Not toforget that at the turn of the century, there were some 100,000 tigers in the jungle.
Nepali government has announced a highly ambitious plan to double the number of tigers in a decade.
According to a 2009 estimate, adult tigers number 121 in the nation. Deepak Bohora, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), plans to take that number beyond 240 in a decade.
First nationwide survey of tigers was done in 2000 in Nepal, way after the damage had already been done.
"We don't have any official record of the tiger population before 2000. But the hunting records indicate that tigers numbered more than a thousand a few decades ago," said Shiva Raj Bhatta, spokesperson of the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation.
One data has estimated that in Asia alone, the illegal trade in animal parts has now crossed 1 billion U.S. dollars, which is only second to arms trafficking.
This is then a signal of a pertinent threat that no country -- rich or poor -- can ignore any longer. Moreover, what is lacking is a political will to save and protect the wild animals, especially those on the verge of extinction, as a result of man's insatiable greed for money and power, the spokesperson noted.
It is thus clear that there is now a need for an international convention aided by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to save tigers as even Cambodia, Vietnam and the United States are said to be taking to tiger farming.