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Global Tiger Conservation Initiatives: Reporting and Commitments

Context:

Countries have reported their tiger population data from 2010 to 2022 to the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) and the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as part of GTRP 2.0, a program designed to guide tiger conservation efforts from 2023 to 2034. The initiative stems from the commitment made by 13 tiger range countries under the St Petersburg Declaration in 2010, where they pledged to reverse the decline in tiger populations and strive to double their numbers by the year 2022.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Tiger Conservation Status Worldwide
  2. Global Tiger Recovery Program 2.0 (2023-34)
  3. Threats to the Global Tiger Population
  4. Suggestions from the Report

Tiger Conservation Status Worldwide

Regional Disparities
  • Positive Outlook in South Asia and Russia:
    • Wild tiger status is good in South Asia and Russia.
  • Challenges in Southeast Asia:
    • Grim situation in Southeast Asia poses challenges to global tiger population recovery.
Overall Population Increase
  • Global Growth:
    • Overall, there is a 60% increase in the global tiger population.
    • Total tiger population reaches 5,870.
  • Concerns in Specific Countries:
    • Decline observed in Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao-PDR, and Vietnam.
    • Situation termed as “grim” in the Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) of Southeast Asia.
Success Factors
  • Effective Measures in South Asia:
    • Success attributed to effective measures in South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
    • China and Russia in North East Asia also contribute to positive outcomes.
Country-Specific Achievements
  • India’s Progress:
    • India’s wild tiger population stands at 3,167 in 2022.
  • Nepal’s Triumph:
    • Nepal triples its tiger population, showcasing significant progress.

Global Tiger Recovery Program 2.0 (2023-34)

Program Release
  • Release Date: GTRP 2.0 unveiled on July 29, International Tiger Day 2023.
  • Launch Venue: Released at Thimphu by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan.
Background
  • Initiation: GTRP launched in 2010 by the World Bank under the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI).
  • Objective: Aims to double wild tiger populations by 2022 with commitments from Tiger Range Countries (TRCs).
  • Implementing Body: The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) became the implementing arm for the tiger agenda.
Stakeholders and Collaboration
  • Collaborators: Tiger range countries, Global Tiger Forum, and collaborators like the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • Intergovernmental Platform: GTRP 2.0 firmed up by tiger range countries through the intergovernmental platform of the Global Tiger Forum.
Focus Areas
  • Governance Strengthening: Emphasis on enhancing tiger governance.
  • Resource Enhancement: Focus on increasing resources and protection measures.
  • Addressing Contemporary Challenges: Tackling modern challenges like Human-Wildlife Conflict.
  • Differentiated Approach: Retains ongoing actions with new strategies for a more effective approach.

Threats to the Global Tiger Population

Challenging Situation
  • Prey and Tiger Poaching: Widespread prey and tiger poaching contribute to the challenging situation.
  • Lacunae in Conservation: Issues include inadequate patrolling, poor wildlife monitoring, forest loss for commercial needs, proximity to wildlife trade hubs, and rapid infrastructure development leading to fragmentation.
Contributing Factors
  • Poor Monitoring and Investment: Insufficient monitoring and low investment in wildlife conservation contribute to the decline in tiger populations.
  • Habitat Loss and Fragmentation: Habitat loss and fragmentation, coupled with depleting biodiversity due to anthropogenic reasons, pose a significant threat to tiger conservation.
Regional Concerns
  • Southeast Asia Decline: Rapid decline observed in Southeast Asia due to factors like loss of forest, deforestation, infrastructure development, and illegal logging.
  • Emphasis on Prey Population: Report underscores the need for prey population augmentation in certain areas to address habitat degradation.

Suggestions from the Report

Conservation Imperatives
  • Habitat Preservation: Urgent steps required to reverse the current trend of habitat loss.
  • Prey Restoration: Address prey depletion to ensure a demographically and genetically viable tiger population.
  • Anti-Poaching Measures: Implement measures to combat tiger poaching and ensure population sustainability.
Potential Loss Warning
  • Critical Scenario: Failure to address tiger stressors could lead to the loss of a significant portion of the tiger population.
  • Southeast Asia Concern: Particularly critical in Southeast Asia and certain South Asian regions where substantial populations are at risk.
Perspective on Tiger Conservation Landscapes (TCL)
  • Human-Environmental Stress Continuum: TCLs should be viewed within an ongoing human-environmental stress continuum.
  • Human-Induced Modifications: Recognition of ongoing human-induced modifications, including agro-pastoral activities, impacting TCLs.
Need for Robust Policies
  • Policy Framework: The grim situation necessitates a robust policy framework.
  • Political Will: Successful implementation requires political will.
  • Long-Term Resources: Ensuring long-term resource availability is vital for sustained conservation efforts.
Global Population Growth and Challenges
  • Population Growth: Acknowledges a 60% increase, reaching 5,870 individuals globally.
  • Highlighting Challenges: Despite growth, the report underscores the challenges and threats faced by tigers, especially in Southeast Asia, emphasizing the grim situation.

-Source: Down To Earth


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