Ramesh stresses importance of tiger haibitat protection

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh asked economists and conservationists to create awareness about the enormous value provided by tiger landscapes.

New Delhi: Pointing out that tiger habitat
protection is the key to sustenance of the gene pool of big
cats, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh today asked
economists and conservationists to create awareness about the
enormous value provided by tiger landscapes.

"I would urge our economists and conservationists to
come together and help develop a better understanding by all
of us, including policy makers in other sectors, of the
enormous value provided by tiger landscapes," Ramesh said
at a workshop "Consensus for Conservation" organised here.
Ramesh congratulated Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) like
Russia, Vietnam and Burma for finalizing an ambitious global
programme for restoring tiger population from 1500 at present
to 3000 in the world.

The global tiger recovery programme (GTRP) is to be
adopted by the 13-tiger range governments at a first of its
kind tiger summit to be held in St Petersburg in Russia next
year.

The Summit is to be co-hosted by Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

The GTRP has emerged from a year-long consultation
process in which tiger-range countries have taken the lead in
learning from each other about best practises and for defining
priority actions to be taken to deal with the crisis of
extinction facing the Tiger.

The decades-long experience of India and its expertise
gained through Project Tiger has been a valuable input into
the GTRP. Early actions to implement policy and institutional
actions have already begun in TRCs. Ramesh said "I welcome the consultative knowledge-based process undertaken by GTI through Zoellick`s initiative which has brought all TRCs on a single platform of knowledge-based action."

He said India is happy to share its expertise and work
with the Bank on further enhancing the capacity of the
country`s wildlife institutions working with global leaders on
this agenda.

Rajesh Gopal, member secretary of the National Tiger
Conservation Authority (NTCA), invited GTI to continue to
provide similar support to TRCs to maintain the momentum
during implementation.

Keshav Varma, Program Director of GTI, said "some 40
years ago India made a huge commitment to wild tiger
conservation through the launch of Project Tiger and through
this workshop, which led to the finalization of the GTRP.

"India is now setting the stage for a global recovery of
wild tigers and protection of the economic and bio diversity
values of these habitats."

PTI

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