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Talks to Save the Tiger Intensifies
The International Tiger Forum (ITF), an international conference that would involve crucial talks to bring Asia’s most iconic animal, the tiger, back from the brink of extinction would be taking place in St Petersburg, Russia, November 21 to 24.
The ITF, which is being hosted by Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia, would involve world leaders from 13 countries, which still have wild tigers in their domains. It would also involve organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which strive to bring back from extinction, animals like the tiger, which have now been categorized as endangered species.
The forum is expected to result in the adoption of a high-level declaration and a global recovery plan to save this critically endangered animal. This Year of the Tiger underscores the urgency for a critical effort to avert the extinction of one of the world’s most charismatic animals. With less than 3,500 left in the wild today, down from 100,000 a century ago, the serious decline of tiger populations is a crisis of global significance.
Ashok Khosla, President of IUCN, says: “The tiger is the face of Asia’s biodiversity and an emblem of the world’s natural heritage. Action to save the tiger from extinction includes action to restore a part of its original forest habitat – the surest way to regenerate valuable ecosystem services, advance other conservation goals and create livelihoods for some of the most marginalised people on our planet.”
According to Khosla, “The international trade in tigers and tiger parts is universally illegal. It must be stopped, immediately. The countries of origin or destination of such trade must enforce their laws with utmost rigour. Action to save the tiger must be launched now, so that the next Year of the Tiger in 2022 presents the world not with a crisis, but with a cause for celebration and a model of success.”
Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, says: "The ITF promises to be the most significant meeting ever held to discuss the fate of a single non-human species." He adds that: “For the St Petersburg Declaration and the Global Tiger Recovery Program to be more than just a ‘paper tiger’, they must be backed by the highest political commitment and funding."
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