October 30, 2009 (with an October 31 update-- letter from Marcus Cotton)
Yesterday, Akanshya Shah filed a report with Republica that sheds light on China’s continuing unwillingness to give up its apparent addiction to supporting the human consumption and profiteering of tiger parts. (According to EcoWorldly.com, China supplies animal “medicine” to 60 countries worldwide.) I’ve posted Ms. Shahs’ article in full. At the end, I’ve included a four-minute youtube video on China’s ongoing harvesting of tiger. Everyone interested in the preservation of tigers, should watch the video and see why the Chinese are the underlying problem.
KATHMANDU, Oct 29: Restating its stance in favor of tiger farming, the Chinese delegation at the ongoing Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop said Wednesday that China cannot put an end to its tiger farming as medicine produced from tiger parts is supplied to 60 countries.
Professor Xiong of Beijing University in his presentation at the interaction said that although China recognizes the need to stop habitat loss, it will be extremely difficult for the country to put a ban on tiger breeding and farming, a participant of the program told myrepublica.com on condition of anonymity.
The source said that China´s anti-ban stance was criticized by other participants. Stephen Board, Executive Director of Traffic International, is said to have pointed to the need of “attitudinal change” by countries involved in tiger farming. Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia, among others, are also said to be engaging is breeding practices, besides China.
The media was prohibited from attending the interaction.
Stating that the total trade in animal parts has now crossed $10 billion in Asia alone, which is second only to the illegal trade in arms, the Global Tiger Workshop has pointed out the urgent need for governments to design proactive national policies aimed at nipping poaching in the bud.
In addition, participants have strongly urged decision makers to change the paradigm of the management model and equip the concerned departments with new and modern technology to fight poachers. Similarly, they have stressed capacity-building of staff and strengthening the intelligence unit to identify poaching sites. Moreover, they have urged states to formulate a clear system and revive the existing mechanism between and among countries to stop trafficking in animal parts.
Save the Tiger Fund, the US-based Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund and Panthera Foundation have jointly pledged 3-4 million US dollars to identify top priorities and support government efforts to fight illegal trade in tiger parts.
The workshop on Wednesday deliberated on topics ranging from steps to be taken to integrate nature conservation into development priorities and arresting habitat deterioration caused by infrastructure development and land use to engaging communities to protect tiger landscapes and helping people come out of the poverty trap, which, they said, requires “game changing actions” in order to reverse the current trajectory of extinction.
The participants also discussed strengthening wildlife enforcement and governance, improving landscape management and capacity development, suppressing demand for wild tiger parts, enhancing demand for live wild tiger, estimating conservation resource needs and developing innovative financing mechanisms.
India urged to hold anti-poaching talks
In a bid to seek renewed commitment in controlling illegal trafficking in animal parts and poaching activities from its southern neighbor, the Nepal government has asked the Indian side to hold the much-delayed secretary-level meeting on transborder cooperation as soon as possible. India has delayed the talks for three years.
“India has lagged behind in the regional effort to strengthen transborder cooperation to control poaching,” a Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation official said, adding, “We have strongly urged the Indian side to hold the talks without further delay.”
Asked to comment, spokesperson at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Shiva Raj Bhatta said, “The Indian delegation at the tiger workshop has reassured us that the talks will be initiated soon in Delhi.”
Secretary-level talks, which are supposed to design bilateral mechanisms for border management, regulation and control against poaching activities, especially illegal trade in tiger parts, have been held twice in Kathmandu in 2001 and 2006 and once in Delhi in 2003.
youtube video on Chinese tiger farms click here
October 31, 2009
Below is an interesting letter of response to this post from Marcus Cotton, Chief Executive of Tiger Mountain Nepal
We met recently. I was also at the Tiger Workshop – it was great for Nepal to have gathered so many experts and to see how the World Bank really does seem to have undergone an attitudinal change and is now firmly supporting conservation on solid economic grounds. Better late than never.... The Minister of Forests was ever present, meeting everyone, eating with everyone, and always encouraging, supporting, and driving the process forward – impressive indeed.
I would have liked a little more emphasis on the role of thoughtfully and sensitively managed tourism as a positive force for conservation. Tiger Tops has clearly proved the formula can work, combining responsible conservation tourism, charitable support, local communities and the government agencies in an effective partnership. This, to me, is key for the effective conservation of tigers across their range – wide stakeholder partnerships. It will not work if business is told “give us your CSR money and go away.” For a partnership to be effective, it must be open, candid, and have full two-way communication. We must all appreciate and understand the motivations and constraints of our partners.
Knocking China for its slower approach is not really the way ahead. The leader of the Chinese delegation to the workshop has achieved significant forward moves in China on conservation – including opening up towards CITES, regional cooperation in enforcement and conservation management. Yes, tiger farms are a vile monstrosity, but steady rational pressure, I believe, will win the day to close them down.
Tiger Mountain Nepal