St Petersburg Forum
Finding commitment to fund efforts to double the number of wild tigers
|The 13 Tiger Range Countries: The historic forum was organised by the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin|
St Petersburg Forum 28 November, 2010 – The international tiger conservation forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, which ended on November 21 capped a yearlong political process on about USD 127M in new funding to support the global tiger recovery programme.
In addition, funding will also include a large loan package from the World Bank to some tiger range countries, and millions in additional grants from the global environment facility.
The historic forum, organised by the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, agreed to discuss further financing options for the global tiger recovery program, approved at the forum and kick-starting new efforts to double the number of wild tigers.
On the final day of the summit, delegates met briefly to hammer out key dates in the coming year to reach a final agreement on how to pay for and monitor the recovery plan.
“This summit has created the high level government backing that we needed to create a platform to immediately reverse the decline of wild tigers,” said Michael Baltzer, head of WWF’s Tigers Alive initiative. “We need governments to lead the charge forward and maintain this political enthusiasm and intensity – because the tiger can’t wait for our help.”
The 13 tiger range countries will meet during the next six months to secure more cash for the recovery plan, and will finalise the long-term financing of the plan in July. They will meet again in December 2011 to monitor how well the 12-year-plan to save tigers is working.
At the summit, WWF committed to spend USD 50M over the next five years on tiger conservation, and set a goal of increasing that to USD 85M. The global conservation organisation also released its plans to support the government’s commitments to save tigers.
The global tiger recovery program, which took more than a year to put together, was developed by countries that have tigers. It lays out a comprehensive set of actions to help tigers recover from decades of poaching and destruction of their forest homes.
The cost of the initial stage of the recovery program, prepared by the tiger range countries, with support from the global tiger initiative of the World Bank, the global environment facility and other tiger conservation partners, including WWF, has been largely covered by the tiger range countries themselves, but USD 350M is needed from the international community.
The five-member Bhutanese delegation was led by agriculture minister, Dr Pema Gyamtsho. Youth delegates from all 13 tiger range countries who participated in the forum presented a special appeal to the leaders to save wild tigers.