Declaration on Tiger Conservation at Saint petersburg

We reproduce herein the declaration derived at the Tier Summit at St. Petersburg

The St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation

(Saint Petersburg, Russia, November 23, 2010)

We, the Heads of the Governments of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Nepal, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, being custodians of the last remaining tigers in the wild, having gathered at an unprecedented Global Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, from 21 – 24 November 2010, with the common goal of tiger conservation;

RECOGNIZE that Asia’s most iconic animal faces imminent extinction in the wild. In the past century, tiger numbers have plummeted from 100,000 to below 3,500, and continue to fall. Tiger numbers and habitat have declined by 40 percent in the last decade alone, lost largely to habitat loss, poaching, the illegal wildlife trade, and human-tiger conflict. Three subspecies have already disappeared, and none of the other six are secure;

ACKNOWLEDGE that the tiger is one of the important indicators of healthy ecosystems and a failure to reverse these trends will result in not only the loss of tigers but also a loss of biological diversity throughout the entire Asiatic region, together with the tangible and intangible benefits provided by these magnificent predators and the ecosystems they inhabit;

NOTE that whilst the conservation of the tiger is primarily a national responsibility and that increased cooperation and coordination of efforts among the tiger range countries is essential, the reversal of this crisis is additionally dependent upon financial and technical support from the international community, bearing in mind that most Tiger Range Countries are developing countries The crisis facing the tiger has yet to receive the international attention it deserves and saving this species is a common responsibility;

UNDERSTAND the role of international agreements on the conservation of biological diversity and protection of rare and endangered species, including the tiger, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS);

ACKNOWLEDGE the work to date of the Global Tiger Forum and encourage its revitalization and more active role;

RECALL and endorse The Manifesto on Combating Wildlife Crime in Asia, adopted in Pattaya, Thailand, in April 2009; the Recommendations of the Global Tiger Workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, October 2009; the Hua Hin Declaration on Tiger Conservation at the First Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation (1st AMC) in Hua Hin, Thailand, January 2010; and the Work Plan of the Pre Tiger Summit in Bali, Indonesia, July 2010;

WELCOME the adoption of National Tiger Recovery Programs (NTRPs) and the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP); and

ACKNOWLEDGE and appreciate the presence and support of other governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other supporters of tigers.

Because it is our obligation to future generations, and because we must act now, we hereby declare the following:

Strive to double the number of wild tigers across their range by 2022 by

1.    doing everything possible to effectively manage, preserve, protect, and enhance habitats, including:

    1. Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in planning and development processes in tiger habitat;
    2. Making critical tiger breeding habitats inviolate areas within the larger tiger conservation landscapes where no economic or commercial infrastructure development or other adverse activities are permitted; and maintaining the landscapes and creating corridors around and between them where all permitted development activities are tiger- and biodiversity- compatible;
    3. Improving protection by using  systematic patrolling to safeguard tigers, their prey, and habitats; and
    4. Working collaboratively on trans-boundary issues, such as the uninhibited movement of tigers and the management of tiger conservation landscapes.

2.     Working collaboratively to eradicate poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade of tigers, their parts, and derivatives through:

a.    Strengthened national legislation, institutions, and law enforcement to combat crime directed against tigers;

b.    Strengthened regional law enforcement activities through bilateral and multilateral arrangements such as Association of South East Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SA-WEN), and the Protocol between the Government of  the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation on Tiger Protection;

c.    Strengthened international collaboration, coordination, and communication;

d.    Specialized expertise, where relevant, from international organizations including the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank, and the World Customs Organization,  (recognizing that some of these agencies may, themselves, require additional resources);  and

e.    Long-term national and global programs to create awareness of the value of wild tigers and their ecosystems and thus eliminate the illicit demand for tigers and their parts.

3.    Engaging with indigenous and local communities to gain their participation in biodiversity conservation, minimize negative impacts on tigers, their prey, and habitats, and reduce the incidence of human-tiger conflict by providing sustainable and alternative livelihood options through financial support, technical guidance, and other measures.

4.    Increasing the effectiveness of tiger and habitat management, basing it on:

a.    The application of modern and innovative science, standards, and technologies;

b.    Regular monitoring of tigers, their prey, and habitat;

c.    Adaptive management practices; and

d.    Building capacity of institutions involved in science and training and creating a platform for interactive knowledge exchange at all levels.

5.    Exploring and mobilizing domestic funding, including new financing mechanisms based on forest carbon financing including REDD+, payment for ecosystem services (PES), ecotourism, and private sector, donor, and non-governmental organization partnerships.

6.    Appealing for the commitment of international financial institutions, such as World Bank, Global Environment Facility, Asian Development Bank, bilateral and other donors and foundations, CITES Secretariat, non-governmental organizations, and other conservation partners to provide or mobilize financial and technical support to tiger conservation.

7.    Looking forward to the establishment of a multi-donor trust fund or other flexible arrangements to support tiger conservation.

8.    Requesting financial institutions and other partners, including the Global Tiger Initiative, to assist in identifying and establishing a mechanism to coordinate and monitor the use of the multi-donor trust fund allocated for tiger conservation and the implementation of the GTRP, including its Global Support Programs for capacity building and knowledge sharing, combating wildlife crime, demand reduction, and the GTRP progress report. In the interim, we request the Global Tiger Initiative to fulfill this role.

9.    Agreeing to convene high-level meetings on a regular basis to review the progress of NTRPs and the GTRP and to help ensure continued high levels of political commitment to tiger recovery.

10. Building tiger conservation awareness by celebrating Global Tiger Day annually on 29 July.

11. Welcome and sincerely appreciate the pledges made during the Tiger Summit, we also appreciate the continued support of the Global Environment Facility, Save the Tiger Fund, Smithsonian Institution, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Conservation Society, and WWF, and other partners in the Global Tiger Initiative, and welcome the participation of new ones.

By the adoption of this, the St. Petersburg Declaration, the tiger range countries of the world call upon the international community to join us in turning the tide and setting the tiger on the road to recovery.

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