Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, July 18, 2010
To save tigers from extinction, 13 nations which are abode of the endangered big cats have pledged to get their act together to double by the year 2022 the number of the felines from the present 3,200 in the wild. A decision in this regard was taken at a recent meeting in Bali, Indonesia, by the countries along with the World Bank's Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) to develop a concrete plan to reinvigorate the tiger count.
The plan is expected to serve as a road map for tiger conservation to be adopted by world leaders at the first global summit on tigers this September in St Petersburg, Russia to be attended by Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam besides the host country.
The striped cats, whose count has declined by a whopping 97 per cent from over a lakh in the 20th century, continue to face threats due to increasing demand for their skin and body parts in the global market.
The officials at the meet agreed to prepare a national action plan comprising a Global Tiger Recovery Programme for adoption at the Tiger Summit, according to a statement from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
It includes providing skills and equipment to rangers and law enforcement officials to combat poaching and illegal trafficking of tigers.
The global blueprint for tiger protection would be backed by joint commitments to better conserve key tiger habitats across range countries and to step up enforcement to eradicate poaching and end trafficking in tiger body parts.