NEW YORK (February 26, 2009) The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), together with the World Bank and Global Environment Facility (GEF), announced today a commitment of $2.8 million toward tiger conservation across its range. WCS will lead a new project, Tiger Futures, in partnership with other conservation organizations with long-term field experience in tiger conservation throughout countries spanning the big cat's geographical range in Asia.
The Tiger Futures project will provide initial support and early action under the Global Tiger Initiative announced last June by Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group. The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) includes plans to support country dialogues in tiger range states, a review of World Bank projects in areas where tigers occur and initiatives to develop new models for tiger conservation. The GTI will also strengthen efforts to reduce poaching and illegal trade while creating new funding mechanisms for conservation efforts. As part of the initiative, the World Bank has offered to host a meeting of tiger experts from around the world for a Year of the Tiger Summit in 2010.
The Tiger Futures project will complement Bank initiatives to involve all tiger range states in high-level discussions for tiger conservation, and will support a broad participation of other conservation organizations including TRAFFIC, WWF, and IUCN as lead partners. Other project activities include working closely with local governments in China and Vietnam to reduce illegal wildlife tradeone of the main threats facing wild tigers.
"This agreement marks a unique partnership among the World Bank, GEF, and the conservation community to work with range states to save one of the world's most beloved animals, the tiger," said WCS President and CEO Dr Steven Sanderson. "This project is extremely timely since the plight of the tiger in the wild is dire, and urgent actions on many fronts are needed to protect
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society