Wildlife Conservation Society announces new tiger conservation project

February 28th, 2009 - 5:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 28 (ANI): The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), together with the World Bank and Global Environment Facility (GEF), has announced a new project for tiger conservation, with a commitment of 2.8 million dollars.

WCS will lead a new project, Tiger Futures, in partnership with other conservation organizations with long-term field experience in tiger conservation throughout countries spanning the big cats geographical range in Asia.

The Tiger Futures project will provide initial support and early action under the Global Tiger Initiative announced last June by Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group.

The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) includes plans to support country dialogues in tiger range states, a review of World Bank projects in areas where tigers occur and initiatives to develop new models for tiger conservation.

The GTI will also strengthen efforts to reduce poaching and illegal trade while creating new funding mechanisms for conservation efforts.

As part of the initiative, the World Bank has offered to host a meeting of tiger experts from around the world for a Year of the Tiger Summit in 2010.

The Tiger Futures project will complement Bank initiatives to involve all tiger range states in high-level discussions for tiger conservation, and will support a broad participation of other conservation organizations including TRAFFIC, WWF, and IUCN as lead partners.

Other project activities include working closely with local governments in China and Vietnam to reduce illegal wildlife trade, which is one of the main threats facing wild tigers.

This agreement marks a unique partnership among the World Bank, GEF, and the conservation community to work with range states to save one of the worlds most beloved animals, the tiger, said WCS President and CEO Dr Steven Sanderson.

This project is extremely timely since the plight of the tiger in the wild is dire, and urgent actions on many fronts are needed to protect remaining populations, he added.

According to Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, The struggle to prevent tigers from going extinct is emblematic of the monumental crisis facing biodiversity globally.

We are determined to contribute to the protection of the tigers with this new initiative, but we will also start looking at the whole range of threatened species and the ecosystems they depend, she added.

Healthy ecosystems, in turn, provide for livelihoods and safety nets for rural people across the developing world. Therefore, starting with threatened species, we can trigger positive outcomes much beyond the reach of the original investments, she further added. (ANI)

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