Governments review progress four years into historic tiger goal
September 10th, Kuala Lumpur: Senior government officials from the 13 tiger range countries (TRC) will meet in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 13-16 September 2014, to review progress towards their joint goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, known as Tx2.
The 2nd Stocktaking Conference of The Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP), is the next step in the process which begun with the landmark “Tiger Summit” in 2010, St Petersburg. Here tiger countries agreed the GTRP, which details the actions required by governments to achieve the Tx2 goal.
“We are nearly a third of the way towards Tx2,” said Mike Baltzer, Leader, WWF Tigers Alive Initiative. “There has been great progress but many governments still need to do much more if we are going to achieve the goal by 2022.”
The Conference is an opportunity for governments to critically examine the progress made to date. The recommendations from this meeting, to be announced on Tuesday 16, September, will set the pace for the remaining eight years of the goal.
At the Conference WWF is urging governments to:
• commit to a scheduled government-led process to maintain political momentum each year until at least 2022;
• agree that by 2016, the halfway point in the Tx2 goal, all tiger range countries will provide an accurate census of their wild tiger populations; and
• take immediate action to halt poaching spearheaded by government support for the planned “Symposium: Towards Zero Poaching Asia”.
On Global Tiger Day this year WWF called on all countries to count their tigers so the current estimate – as few as 3200 - can be updated. Since the last estimate was agreed in 2010 poaching has reached critical levels and is the greatest threat to wild tigers today. Statistics from TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, show that a minimum of 1590 tigers were seized between January 2000 and April 2014. That represents an average of two per week.
To achieve Tx2 governments must halt poaching by professionalizing their anti-poaching efforts and investment in rangers. WWF and NGO partners are preparing to launch a new anti-poaching era at the Symposium: Towards Zero Poaching Asia, to be held possibly as early as December this year. The aim of the Symposium is to share anti-poaching best practices and discuss a Zero Poaching plan which will combat, intensify and accelerate action against poaching across tiger range countries.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, will inaugurate the three-day Dhaka Conference, held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. In addition to tiger range governments, representatives from other governments, institutions and NGOs will participate. The agreed next steps from the Conference will be known as the ‘Dhaka Recommendations’.