Bangladesh minister lauds Modi for tripling tiger project budget

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New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to triple the budget allocation for tiger conservation, Bangladesh’s Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju on Thursday said he would urge his government to similarly treble the save tiger budget.

“The Indian prime minister said he had tripled the money for saving tigers. It is most encouraging for me as when I go back to my country I can say that to my prime Minister to triple our budget for tiger conservation,” Manju said at the closing ceremony of the three-day ‘Third Asia Ministerial Conference on tiger conservation’.

“During my three days stay here, I learned a lot. We have been guided by India and it has taken us in the right direction,” he said.

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India has increased the budget for Project Tiger from Rs.185 crore to Rs.380 crore, and with 40 percent share of the states, this increase translates to Rs.500 crore in one year for tiger conservation.

Appreciating his Indian counterpart Prakash Javadekar for cooperation with Bangladesh in terms of technology and information sharing for tiger conservation, the Bangladesh minister said that India is playing a major role towards environment protection by taking others along with it.

“Nobody felt left out, nobody felt lost. I appreciate the Indian initiative here,” he said.

Bangladesh, one of the 13 ‘Tiger Range Countries’, has 106 tigers as per Global Wild Tiger Status April 2016 report. India has 2,500 tigers.

India has jointly conducted the first ever modern survey with Bangladesh to assess the tiger population across the 6,724 sq km in the Sundarbans. The report was released at the opening ceremony of the conference.

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Representatives from the 13 Tiger Range Countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam as well as the two new ones of Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan participated in the conference.

The new entries Kyrgyz were included for the Snow Leopard.

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