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The Status of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme Implementation from 2010 to 2022
5 September 2022
12:00—14:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Tiger numbers are on the rise in several countries

I am pleased to note the accomplishments of our colleagues from India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China, where numbers of this big cat are growing steadily. And we also have plenty to be proud about: 12 years ago, Russia’s Far Eastern taiga was home to no more than 390 adult Siberian tigers. Now this figure, including cubs, has grown to around 750. This result is down to the systemic measures implemented by the state — Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.

We are proud of what we’ve achieved. Not only have we been able to halt the decline in the tiger population, but increase it by 360 over the course of 12 years. This is a major and significant result. And the fact that the predator’s habitat has also expanded in size is very important. Whereas in the past the tiger could only be found in Primorye Territory and Khabarovsk Territory, now it has also made its home in the Jewish Autonomous Region and Amur Region. The tiger’s habitat has expanded to cover almost 186 square kilometres. And our country is not the only one to have seen an increase in the number of tigers — Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

We have significantly increased the tiger population and have taken a number of big steps forward. We are seeing steady growth. Each year, the population is growing by around 6% — Satya Prakash Yadav, Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of the Republic of India.

We started off with a figure of 120–150 – that was the figure for 2009. Over the past 12 years we have managed to more than double the tiger population. Today, we have more than 300 tigers. So, we have tripled the population. This is absolutely a major accomplishment — Ram Chandra Kandel, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests and Environment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

More international cooperation is needed to protect the tiger

I would like to express my confidence in this forum being able to get the international community to pay greater attention to the issue of tiger conservation. We absolutely need to act together, because the tiger is a wonderful and noble predator that knows no borders. Therefore, only by working in concert will we be successful. Together, we need to focus on the threats that continue to exist to this day — Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

Animal species such as the tiger are of major regional and international significance. When it comes to measures aimed at protecting them, international cooperation between neighbouring countries needs to be strengthened. Efforts cannot be confined to individual nations. In particular, it would be appropriate, and indeed prudent, for countries in Northeast Asia to work together. Our nation’s government will continue to work to build ties both at a regional and bilateral level with Russia and China, which are home to a number of large animal species — Sin Hong Chol, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the Russian Federation.

I would like to call on all countries home to the tiger to join forces so that we in the Kingdom of Cambodia can reintroduce these rare animals and successfully put our plans into action — Chea Sam Ang, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

ISSUES
Poaching is one of the biggest threats faced by the tiger

Today, we have identified poaching as the biggest threat to the tiger. Whereas in the past – a decade ago – we were talking about the death of 50–70 tigers per year at the hands of poachers, today experts estimate that this figure is more like 15–20. This is a big result — Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

To this day, the biggest danger is the illegal killing of these animals — Satya Prakash Yadav, Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of the Republic of India.

Smuggling and the unlawful capturing of animals. We have seen how some forests are low on food, and animals end up moving to other areas. And poaching is the main problem — Somphot Duangchantrasiri, Scientist of Senior Professional Level of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kingdom of Thailand.

People can often come into conflict with tigers

Tiger numbers have increased significantly. At the same time, the country has a population of 1.3 billion. Today, tigers can frequently come quite close to human dwellings. This is probably the most difficult challenge when it comes to managing the population. We have special requirements and protocols in place for when tigers approach areas of human habitation. We have a warning system — Satya Prakash Yadav, Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of the Republic of India.

There are a great many conflicts between humans and tigers. Fifty per cent of tiger-related human fatalities occurred when people illegally entered national parks. Unfortunately, we have been seeing more of these conflicts. We therefore need to make national parks better protected — Ram Chandra Kandel, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests and Environment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Various measures are being put in place to reduce conflict between humans and tigers. All countries with a tiger population face this problem. Since 2012, quite a lot of people have expressed the need for compensation. In 2021 we put an information system in place — Md Amir Hosain Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forests of Forest Department, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

SOLUTIONS
Continuing the fight against poaching and smuggling

Criminal liability was introduced in 2018, including for trading in derivatives. This has greatly reduced poaching incidents. Whereas a decade ago, poachers were responsible for the deaths of more than 50 tigers per year, today this figure is no more than 20. What’s more, the SMART programme has been implemented by seven countries, including Russia, India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, and Cambodia. This is a monitoring system containing information on patrols conducted on specially protected natural areas and any incidents of illegal activity — Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

Measures to protect the tiger are in place at various levels. In addition, there is a mechanism to prevent the illegal trade in tigers. At the political level, a tiger-conservation committee led by the Prime Minister has been established. At the ministerial level, control measures are in place, and lawbreakers are criminally prosecuted. But the most important level is of course that of local communities. That’s the level where we can prevent the illegal trade in tigers, poaching, and other illegal activity — Ram Chandra Kandel, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests and Environment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Vietnam has now introduced new legislation which is designed to protect this rare animal. Criminal prosecution of poachers was introduced back in 2015, and the measure came fully into force in 2018. Today, anyone who damages the country’s biodiversity and endangers rare and valuable animals – and indeed, any flora and fauna in our forests – faces up to 15 years in prison — Pham Van Dien, Deputy Director General of Administration of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Environmental protection is key to tiger conservation

A rich cedar deciduous forest is key to the wellbeing of tigers. Primorye Territory is home to the largest number of these predators, and the area of protected forest there has been expanded to cover 135,000 hectares. Clearcutting in these places is prohibited. There are also more forest patrols throughout the tiger’s habitat. As a result, the illegal wood trade has been decimated. And by the end of the year, we will also introduce control over the pine nut trade — Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

Our nation’s government has drafted a legal framework to support the breeding of endangered species, including the tiger. This framework encompasses laws aimed at protecting the environment... In addition, areas favoured by animals (including tigers) which are subject to state protection are designated nature reserves — Sin Hong Chol, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the Russian Federation.

The preservation of biodiversity is a priority for the government of Nepal... We have worked on this since the 1960s. These efforts focus on the tiger, leopard, rhinoceros, and other animals — Ram Chandra Kandel, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests and Environment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

In order to increase and generally establish a tiger population, we have naturally allocated 70% of our forests. We have further identified 27 areas of biodiversity (including forests), and 49 nature reserves where we can release tigers. These are places which can be employed for the purposes of reintroducing the tiger. In addition, we would like to take tigers which are currently in captivity in Laos. We would like to breed them in captivity and then release them in the wild – the forests – when they are ready — Thongphath Vongmany, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

It is important to focus on expanding the tiger’s natural habitat

Today, we are speaking about our major accomplishment in increasing Siberian tiger numbers over the past 12 years. Today, we are speaking about having reached a reassuring number. Our objective is to expand the habitat of the Siberian tiger so that it resembles previous boundaries — Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

We have increased the area of national parks and nature reserves in order to allow this predator to live freely and safely in them. We are speaking about almost five million hectares. There are 338 state inspectors who work across these areas to protect these big cats — Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

In total we have 670,000 square kilometres – that’s the total area of the country. And today, almost 64% of it is protected. In recent years, special habitats have been created to boost the wild animal population. Government programmes aimed at developing forest management and protected areas are also in place — Khin Maung Yi, Union Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

Raising awareness and supporting the local population is also key to the success of tiger conservation efforts

In addition, we managed, in a way, to bring about a revolution in the mentality of people living in the Far East, and particularly in places which are also home to the Siberian tiger. Today, killing a tiger is seen as a shameful act — Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.

In order to protect animals, the population must be involved. A monitoring programme also needs to be in place so that animals can be observed at all times. In order to enact all these measures, it’s important to make sure all stakeholders and interested parties are involved and playing an active role — Chea Sam Ang, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

We are currently working with the local population. Small grants are being issued and local foundations are being established to support the population. In addition, work is being done to promote the use of drip irrigation systems and water-saving technologies, including for the purposes of cultivating members of the gourd family. Work is also being done to raise awareness — Aliya Shalabekova, Vice-Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of Republic of Kazakhstan.

In addition to working with people who live in close proximity to wild and rare animals, I think it’s very important to cultivate a culture of love for one’s natural surroundings, for animals — Maria Morgun, Chief Editor, Live Planet TV; Anchor, Correspondent, Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS