Range Countries Firm On Conserving Wild Tigers
KATHMANDU, Oct 31: The four-day Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop, which concluded Friday, has pointed out that a collective political commitment from all levels of governments is the most important action required to save tigers in the wild in the present context.
In its 17-point recommendation, also called "Kathmandu Declaration," the gathering has suggested celebrating 2010 as the Year of the Tiger throughout the world, creating global awareness of the critical plight of the wild tiger and "enlisting broad and deep support" for its conservation.
Significantly for Nepal, the World Bank has pledged support to the government´s plan to extend the conservation area of Bardiya National Park. Meanwhile, Russia has extended an invitation to the stakeholders for a follow-up meet in that country.
The workshop has also called upon the states to conserve and manage buffer zones and corridors that connect core tiger breeding areas in tiger landscapes. Other recommendations include: tiger range countries (TRCs) to stop infrastructure projects in core tiger breeding areas and financial institutions to avoid financing development projects that adversely affect critical tiger habitats; to empower local communities that live in and around tiger landscapes with sustainable economic incentives and appropriate technologies to minimize human-tiger conflict.
The workshop has urged all countries to implement CITES resolutions, 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 effectively combat the illegal trade in wildlife at the international level and though relevant national agencies and also to implement the Manifesto on Combating Wildlife Crime in Asia, decided in Pattaya, Thailand, in April.
The participants from more than 20 countries also sought the international community´s commitment to supporting long-term behavior-change campaigns "with measurable outcomes on tiger conservation in the wild" and helping achieve the goal of doubling the tiger population within the next 10 years.
It recommended intensification of regional cooperation for better management and enforcement of trans-boundary tiger landscapes, implementation of capacity development programs to achieve effective landscape and protected-area management, use of innovative science and technology to closely monitor and protect wild tigers and their prey and habitats, adoption of innovative, sustainable mechanisms to finance wild tiger conservation, and generation of collective support from donor agencies.
The recommendations will be presented to the ministers of the TRCs, who will meet in Thailand in January, 2010, and ultimately to the heads of governments, who will meet in Vladivostok, Russia, in the fall of next year.