Globally, tiger conservation is under great risk as increasing habitat fragmentation and degradation and growing illegal trade in tiger parts and products continues to deplete its populations in the wild. In the aftermath of India losing all its tigers in a prominent tiger reserve, the Prime Minister set up a Tiger Task Force (TTF) to review tiger conservation and to suggest a new paradigm that shared the concerns of conservation with the public at large. The TTF recommended a paradigm shift that entailed an ability to envision conservation at a landscape level, which while securing ecosystem services, biodiversity and wildlife also helped in amelioration of degraded forests in a transparent, participatory manner with the genuine local stakeholders and deserving beneficiaries.
In its relentless pursuit to save the tiger, the Government of India has set up a National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), established the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), delineated the core critical habitats for tiger conservation and also enacted The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. In pursuance of the Goal 4.2 of the CBD’s Protected Area Programme of Work (PAPoW), India has carried out the Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 28 tiger reserves and another cycle of MEE is currently underway for 39 (28 old + 11 new) tiger reserves in the country.
The Government of India is taking effective measures that correspond to CBD PAPoW Goal 1.2 (Integrating tiger reserves in the larger landscapes), Goal 1.4 (Preparation of Tiger Conservation Plans), Goal 2.1 (Engagement and benefit sharing with local stakeholders), Goal 3.2 (Capacity-building of managers and frontline staff of tiger reserves), Goal 3.3 (Scientific monitoring using satellite tracking, camera trapping and DNA analyses), Goal 4.2 and 4.3 (MEE of all 39 tiger reserves), in order to implement the inclusive agenda for tiger conservation.
Hopefully, with these initiatives and other associated measures the stripes will not disappear from the planet.
photo credit: S. Sen