From: WWF
Published June 10, 2008 09:30 AM

Experts welcome World Bank's commitment to tiger conservation

The 39 member organizations of the International Tiger Coalition (ITC) applaud the World Bank’s announcement today that it will undertake a global joint venture to help reverse the decline in wild tigers — the first-ever species initiative by the Bank.

The Bank has asked the ITC member organizations, representing some of the world's foremost tiger scientists, conservation groups, animal welfare advocates, traditional Chinese medicine specialists, and zoos, to provide expertise and strategic guidance to the initiative.

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During the next six months, the Bank promises to hold open and frank dialogues with all stakeholders in tiger range countries—governments and non-governmental organizations—about which tiger conservation methods have worked in the past and which have not. This process is crucial for reversing the damage done to tiger habitat from poorly planned development projects in the past and addressing all major threats facing the fewer than 4,000 tigers remaining in the wild.

“The potential loss of wild tigers is a global problem that requires a global solution," said Judy Mills of the International Tiger Coalition.  “The World Bank’s involvement has the potential to catalyze a paradigm shift for wild tigers and their habitats.”

The ITC is encouraged by the World Bank’s stated interest in ensuring that its future investments do no harm to wild tigers and hopes that other development agencies will follow suit.  The ITC hopes that the Bank’s efforts will call world attention to the need to stop all demand for and use of tiger skins and bones.

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