Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tiger plans leap forward at Bali

Tiger plans leap forward at Bali

20 July 2010

In an important meeting in Bali last week, the 13 countries with tiger populations laid the groundwork for world leaders to come together at the vital Tiger Summit in Russia this September.

The global plan to double wild tiger numbers by 2022 moved a step closer last week as the 13 ‘tiger range’ countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam – held a preliminary meeting to put forward their own proposals for how to achieve this ambitious target.

World tiger experts and representatives from NGOs were also at the meeting, which was a prelude to the big Tiger Summit to be held in St Petersburg, Russia, from 15-18 September 2010.

WWF’s Tiger Programme leader, Michael Baltzer, says: “These 13 countries coming to the Bali meeting and agreeing some key plans is a strong indication that they are ready to make commitments and be held accountable for their efforts to save tigers. And it sets clear goals for how to do that.

“There’s still work to be done in the coming weeks, but this has been a crucial meeting.”

WWF-Indonesia’s CEO, Dr Efransjah, adds: “Hosting this meeting in Bali – where the Balinese tiger went extinct in the 1940s – is a symbol of Indonesia’s commitment to help with this global effort to protect tigers and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

“We commend Indonesia for its leadership at this meeting, and ask for the same level of commitment and passion leading up to and during the Tiger Summit.”

What was decided at the Bali tiger meeting

The 13 countries presented individual national plans for protecting tigers. These plans will be put into a Global Tiger Recovery Programme – essentially an overarching plan to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022 – which will then be considered and approved by high-level government ministers at the Tiger Summit.

The governments also agreed to elements for a Leader’s Declaration, a document that will include joint commitments by the 13 tiger range states.

This Declaration will include agreements such as:

tigers are key to healthy ecosystems

tiger conservation efforts are primarily a national responsibility, but “financial and technical support of the international community ” is still needed

the 13 governments will collaborate on issues that affect tigers across borders, including ensuring the uninhibited movement of tigers and the management of joint tiger conservation areas

increased enforcement efforts will be made to eradicate poaching, the main cause of tiger loss, and to reduce the trafficking of tiger parts

there will be better identifying and better protection of key tiger habitats, such as critical breeding areas

protection efforts will be improved by more systematic patrols of tiger areas, and protecting their prey

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