Ministerial council to save tigers in offing
KATHMANDU, Jan 31: Ministerial-level talks of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) of Asia held in Thailand from January 27 to 29 have endorsed a proposal for forming a ministerial council for tiger conservation, and also to mark July 29 as a day for hosting awareness campaigns in all TRCs simultaneously.
Speaking to myrepublica.com after returning from the Thai coastal resort of Hua Hin Saturday, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Deepak Bohara said, “The Thai government´s proposal for formation of a ministerial council was endorsed at the talks.” He added, “Nepal´s proposal to launch an awareness drive in all 13 countries on July 29 simultaneously was also accepted.”
Bohara said that a follow-up second ministerial meeting would be held in Bali, Indonesia, in June to firm up on the council plan and also to set the agenda for a heads of state meeting to be hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok between September 9 and 12.
The ministerial-meeting representatives, who pledged to double the number of wild tigers by 2022 and to save the tigers´ prey base, have also called upon international donor agencies including the World Bank (WB) for “generous support” to fight illegal trade in tiger parts.
“The WB has promised a meeting of TRCs soon to discuss what kind of monetary support would be required for tiger conservation,” Bohara said. He added that the summit was successful in pushing the agenda to the highest political level, thereby reaching out for the much-needed political commitment, and also in persuading donors to contribute to a fund for tiger conservation. Bohara said that the World Bank will be supported by WWF, USAid and others in this endeavor.
China, which has been taking a rigid position on the issue of tiger breeding and farming, has also been “positive towards doubling the number of wild tigers,” Bohara added.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has pledged $250,000 for setting-up the Regional Secretariat in Kathmandu for law enforcement and control on sale of animal parts. Such a secretariat representing India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal was recommended at the Tiger Workshop held in Kathmandu in October.
“WB has pledged $ 250,000 for the secretariat in Kathmandu. Other donors too have shown interest,” Minister Bohara told myrepublica.com.