With just 7 days to go to the next meeting of the International Tiger Forum the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has warned that now is the time to stop talking and start acting if tigers are to be brought back from the brink of extinction. The meeting is to be held in St Petersburg from 21st – 2th November and is being chaired by the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Members of governments that include tiger habitat will be coming together to draw up plans to help ensure that tigers continue to be in the wild for future generations to enjoy.
EIA believes these actions will be a test of parties’ commitment to saving the wild tiger
“The remaining wild tigers are on the brink – they simply don’t have time to wait as the world again wrings it collective hands but does nothing concrete at the end of it.”
The EIA is a London based international charity that campaigns on and investigates the illegal trade in endangered animals and animal parts. As part of the campaigning around the tiger forum the EIA will be releasing a report into the trade in tigers and tiger parts put together from their many years of involvement in the subject. The charity is calling on a number of proposals to be taken up by the participating countries including:
- effective law enforcement,
- aggressive demand reduction strategies to reduce the consumption of tiger parts,
- judicial reform
“EIA believes these actions will be a test of parties’ commitment to saving the wild tiger,” added Banks.
One of the things that EIA would like tiger range countries to make use of is the recent willingness of INTERPOL to take a lead role in tackling the illegal tiger trade. The EIA believes that each forum member country should arrange for at least one police investigator to be assigned full time to the INTERPOL crime bureau.
There are currently only 13 countries left in the world where tigers roam freely. These are:
The aim of the summit will be for the tiger nations to come to an international plan to reverse the loss to tiger numbers and to build up population levels from the current 3,200 that are estimated to still be in the wild.
One of the initiatives that will be formally launched during the forum will be the wildlife crime consortium announced by John E Scanlon (Secretary General of CITES) during the Biological Diversity conference at Nagoya in October. The new consortium known as the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) will be tasked with combating international wildlife trading. The organisation will be made up of:
When the consortium was first announced Mr Scanlon stated “…aims to introduce a new era of wildlife law enforcement, one where wildlife criminals will face a formidable, coordinated opposition, rather than the present situation where the risk of detection and punishment is all too low. To achieve this goal, ICCWC is intended to work for, and with, the national-level wildlife law enforcement community, since it is these frontline officers who bring criminals to justice.”
“It is our fervent hope that the forthcoming International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg will see the formal launch of the Consortium. As many of you will know, the potential support offered by agencies involved in the Consortium now features as a major component of the Global Tiger Recovery Program, which representatives of tiger range States will be asked to endorse in St Petersburg. We need to bring our collective efforts together to assist national authorities tackle this growing area of criminal activity if we are to achieve our biodiversity targets. ”
photo credit: Todd Ryburn