Tiger-rescue plan to be drawn up in Indonesia
  • | AFP | July 14, 2010 06:38 PM

Representatives from 13 "tiger-range countries" on Wednesday drew up a rescue declaration in Bali in a bid to save the big cats from extinction.

A Sumatran tiger roams through its enclosure at Jakarta\'s Ragunan Zoo. Representatives from 13 "tiger-range countries" have drawn up a rescue declaration in Bali in a bid to save the big cats from extinction.
(AFP/File/Romeo Gacad)

The declaration, which is to be signed in September at a "tiger summit" in St. Petersburg in Russia, aims to double the number of wild tigers across their range by 2022.

It includes plans to "do everything possible to effectively manage, preserve, protect and enhance habitats".

It also pledges to "work collaboratively to eradicate poaching, smuggling and illegal trade of tigers, their parts and derivatives".

Countries invited to attend the St. Petersburg summit are Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

World Bank Global Tiger Initiative programme director Keshav Varma said there was a "clear direction to move forward" after the pre-summit meeting in Bali, but funding was still an issue.

"There is a need to develop a global fund, multi-donor trust fund or some kind of flexible financial mechanism for this," Varma said.

Indonesian conservation official Harry Santoso said Indonesia was working on a proposal to obtain 54.17 million dollars of grant from the Global Environment Facility for biodiversity conservation projects.

Santoso said they were yet to figure out how much of the grant would be allocated for tiger conservation.

"Now that these countries have shown their willingness to act, the success of any global plan launched in St. Petersburg will depend on financial support from the international community and the tiger nations themselves," WWF Tiger Programme head Michael Baltzer said in a statement.

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