THE International Tiger Coalition (ITC) welcomes Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s convening of world leaders at the International Tiger Conservation Forum from November 21-24 in St Petersburg. In response to this historic and unprecedented event, the ITC offers wholehearted support to tiger range states and other participants in achieving the Forum’s ultimate goal of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022.
Wild tigers have reached a crisis point, driven not only by habitat loss and depletion of the tiger’s wild prey, but predominantly by poaching to supply the high-priced black market in tiger parts and products.
Despite the fact that virtually all trade in tiger parts, products and derivatives is illegal under both national and international laws, tigers are still being killed for their body parts, while tiger parts and products continue to enter illegal markets from both wild and captive-bred sources. Therefore, the ITC is encouraged by statements made in the St Petersburg Declaration and in the Global Tiger Recovery Programme – both of which are expected to be adopted at the Forum – aimed at combating tiger-related wildlife crime and eliminating demand for tiger parts and products.
“We endorse the stated goal of strengthening the effectiveness of existing tiger trade bans, with an aim of eradicating all trade in all tiger parts, products and derivatives,” said ITC Moderator Judy Mills. “This is critical to the achievement of doubling tiger numbers by 2022.”
We stand ready to assist and support tiger range countries to develop and implement the strategies required to ensure an end to all trade in tiger parts and derivatives.
Furthermore, we strongly endorse recent recommendations made by the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and INTERPOL on tiger trade. These include greater use of intelligence-led law enforcement, increased cooperation among law enforcement authorities, demand-reduction campaigns aimed at consumers, and prevention of illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives from captive-bred sources.
Interviews are available on request. Please contact Debbie Banks, Environmental Investigation Agency’s Head of Tiger Campaign, at [email protected] or telephone 020 7354 7960.
• The International Tiger Coalition is a coalition of 42 non-governmental organisations from the environmental, zoo, animal welfare, traditional Chinese medicine, criminal justice, and responsible tourism communities, collectively representing millions of individual members around the world.
• International Tiger Forum here.
• CITES tiger decisions here.