Tiger Conference Ends with Mixed Results


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The Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation, which brought 13 Asian nations together, has concluded with a draft resolution. The plan, most experts agree, is a strong step forward in the fight to save the continent's critically endangered tigers. Key elements, like adequate funding, however, may be missing.The agreement begins by asserting the importance of tiger conservation:

With political will and implementation of the needed action, the extinction of the wild tigers across much of their range can be averted...tiger conservation is important to protect biodiversity and preserve a vital part of our national heritage.

Elements of the plan considered a success include a commitment to double tiger populations by 2022, protect core habitats and buffer zones, maintaining a permanent ban on the trade of tiger parts, and increasing enforcement to discourage poaching.

John Seidensticker, chairman of the Save the Tiger Fund, commented:

If we get everything done in this declaration, we will turn tiger populations around so in fact it's a positive not a negative...for me, I'm very happy with this.

The major weakness of the agreement, some said, is that no new money was committed to tiger conservation. Countries agreed to maintain current contributions, coming mostly from ecotourism, carbon financing, and infrastructure project revenues, but lists no new financing for programs. Entering the conference, most scientists said that current funds would need to be doubled to be effective.

Before the agreement can be tested, it must be approved by the each participating country's head of state. This will take place at a conference in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2010.

Read more about the conference:
13 Countries Meet to Save Endangered Tigers
World Bank Calls for the Closure of Tiger Farms
Read more about tigers:
Fading Tiger, Climate Dragon
Tiger Tops WWF's List of Ten Critically Endangered Species
Shock: Ultra Rare Tiger Dismembered at Zoo and Sold on Chinese Black Market
First-Time Footage of Super Rare Sumatran Tiger & Cubs Released (Video)

Tags: Animals | Conservation