World Bank President, U.S. Under Secretary of State Hormats Commend on Tiger Conservation

Photo by: @andyps

November 28, 2011, Washington, DC — If the fate of tigers in the wild were dependent solely on the dedication and passion of the conservationists present at the World Bank on Monday for the First Anniversary of the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit, this iconic species would today likely be thriving in the forests across 13 tiger range countries in Asia. Unfortunately, the reality on the ground is harsh and complicated. The species is endangered and the estimated 3,200 wild tigers remain scattered among 76 landscapes in Asia.

While public awareness has grown and tiger range country governments have made major commitments, instituted policy reforms, and begun to implement the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP), other formidable forces remain at the center of the battle for survival. First and foremost among these threats are poaching and an increasingly sophisticated illegal wildlife trade that targets tigers and other species, including rhinos and elephants.

The political will generated in St. Petersburg is effecting change on the ground. Over the past year, all the tiger range countries have strengthened wildlife protection laws; increased patrolling teams; conducted intensive training of front line staff; and created or strengthened institutions to address wildlife crime, announced President of the World Bank Group Robert B. Zoellick, in his address to wildlife conservationists and Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) partners on Monday.

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