The Chinese New Year recently kicked off the year of the Tiger.
The largest of the cat species, tigers are a powerful and majestic symbol in many cultures, yet today find themselves at what scientists refer to as “tipping point” — meaning that left to their own devices in the wild, their destiny could go either way — survival or extinction. There are as little as 3,200 tigers left in the wild and the WWF together with the World Bank have launched a global campaign, T x 2, urging to double this number by the next year of the Tiger in 2022.
The process started in Oct. 2009, where talks led by tiger experts discussed a series of actions to change the existing trajectory of tigers from the verge of extinction to one of survival. The talks will culminate in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2010 where the Global Tiger Summit will address:
1. Strict protection of surviving tiger populations to allow their prey base to return.
2. Once the foundation for survival has been set, tigers need large intact landscapes to expand in, without the conflicting presence of humans. In many places.
3. Bring to a minimum and eventually halt the international demand for tiger parts by controlling business operations and borders.
4. Political engagement at the highest level and budget. Governmental commitment and finance is crucial and what has been missing so far.