Russia ready to host World Summit on Tiger Conservation
WWF supported the idea of R. B. Zoellick, the World Bank’s President, to hold in 2010 - the Year of the Tiger according to Chinese calendar – Summit of 13 tiger range countries and proposed to conduct it in Primorskii Province.
WWF had already got support of this initiative from the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, Russian Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of International Affairs of Russia, and Primorskii Province Administration.
Yurii Trutnev, Minister of natural resources and ecology of the Russian Federation, during his visit in Primorye in April 2009 discussed this issue with Yurii Darman, head of WWF-Russia’s Amur branch, and Provincial Administration. Now it is for the Russian Government to decide.
“Hosting tiger Summit in Russia would be very consistent and symbolic as Russia is the only country where tiger number is not decreasing, – comments Igor Chestin, head of WWF-Russia. – We propose to hold it on the last Sunday in September in 2010 when Primorye celebrates annual Tiger Day that has become very popular among local people”.
2010 is the Year of the Tiger according to Chinese horoscope. For the 12-years cycle starting from 1998 the fate of five survived tiger subspecies changed dramatically. Unlike Amur tiger whose number was managed to stabilize the rest subspecies were less lucky. In spite of bans for tiger killing and derivates trade, enforced anti-poaching activities world tiger number is reducing. For instance, in India tiger number has dropped more than twice for this period of time.
Specialists think it is necessary and possibly to work out financial and political mechanisms that would not allow implementation of large investment projects dangerous for tiger survival and vise versa would give “green light” to development projects considering the importance of tiger habitats conservation. However, under the present conditions functioning of these mechanisms in a separate country is impossible. They could work only when effectively coordinated on international level.
By Summit on tiger conservation WWF suggests to develop a number of concrete measures including establishing Sino-Russian trans-boundary nature reserve, expansion of the World Heritage territory within tiger range, launching joint program on tiger reintroduction in north-east China in cooperation with Chinese colleagues. “We expect that representatives of other countries will also elaborate their action plans on tiger conservation, particularly in those areas where its numbers is rapidly declining” – says Igor Chestin.