New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The third Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation concluded here on Thursday with the 13 Tiger Range Countries adopting a resolution reasserting their commitment to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP).
Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said the ‘New Delhi Resolution on Tiger Conservation’ will help strengthen the commitment of the member countries toward the “Global Tiger Summit” resolution adopted in 2010 at St. Petersburg, Russia – which was to double the tiger population by 2022.
The minister said there is need to align development and tiger conservation through participation of locals and other stakeholders.
“We believe in partnership with local communities because they are the real protectors,” said Javadekar.
He added, “India is ready to help non-tiger countries to develop tiger habitats.”
“We have tigers, they have money,” he said.
Answering a question on the tiger parts trade in China, through its several ‘tiger farms’, he said that China has its own legal framework and “we respect that”.
He also stressed to include non-tiger countries, with rich bio-diversity, in the next conference, to be held two years later. The venue of the conference had not been decided yet.
“Strengthen co-operation at the highest levels of government to combat wildlife crime, address the demand for tiger products and increase formal and informal trans boundary coordination,” the resolution stated.
The resolutions adopted also stressed on accelerated implementation of the GTRP, mutual and systematic reporting of the census, integrating tiger and wildlife safeguards in infrastructure at the landscape level, leverage funding and technical support from international organisations and financial institution in addition to the tiger range country governments.
Providing ecosystem services to the tiger reserves, emphasising the tiger recovery growth in the areas with low tiger densities, knowledge sharing and capacity development for all stakeholders and increase in the use of technology were also part of the resolution adopted.
“Restoration, Reintroduction and Rehabilitation is needed to increase tiger population in low density areas,” Javadekar said.
Artem Sidorov, head of the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, Russia said, “We understand that our common goals and compliance still exists.”
“This resolution must not be limited to the respective ministries of environment or forest only. It’s ambit must be broadened and other departments must be included,” said Chencho Norbu, director general of Department of Forest and Park Services, Bhutan.
During the three-day conference, representatives from the earlier 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. The two new countries gained entry for the Snow Leopard.
While several Tiger Range Countries like India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan have registered an increase in tiger population, the status of tiger remains ‘endangered’, and has declined to ‘non-viable’ level in some range countries, a cause for concern. India is home to 70 percent of the world’s tigers.
According to the latest figures, Bangladesh has 106 tigers, Bhutan 103, Cambodia nil, China seven, India 2,500, Indonesia 371, Lao PDR two, Malaysia 250, Nepal 198, Russia 433, Thailand 189 and Vietnam less than five tigers in the wild.