Asian countries pledge to double Tiger numbers by 2022
Hua Hin, Thailand, 29th January 2010—Governments from across Asia sent a powerful message that renewed efforts to save wild Tigers from extinction would begin immediately and called for total protection of critical Tiger habitats as the 1st Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation concluded today at the resort of Hua Hin, Thailand.
Ministers and senior delegations from 13 Tiger range States—Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Viet Nam—committed to implementing measures to double the number of wild Tigers by 2022.
The post-conference declaration includes pledges to protect wild Tigers and their prey from poaching through regular patrolling of Tiger habitats and elimination of national and cross-border trade in Tiger and Tiger parts as well as a commitment to support communities living in and around Tiger landscapes and minimize human-Tiger conflicts.
The countries also appealed for the commitment of international institutions to help finance and support the new conservation efforts.
“The World Bank stands ready to support regional projects in the tiger range countries and to mobilize the donor community and develop innovative financial instruments to support tiger conservation funds,” said World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, in a video message to the conference.
The Royal Government of Thailand, who hosted the meeting, announced plans for increased patrolling of Tiger habitats in Thailand, assistance for restoration of Tigers populations in neighbouring countries and more secure funding for the ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network.
Michael Baltzer, Leader of WWF’s Tiger Initiative, commented: “We are delighted to see a ray of hope for the Tiger as represented by the tiger range countries’ commitment to work together to double wild tiger numbers by 2022.”
Currently there are around 3,200 Tigers left in the wild. A Century ago the figure was 100,000.