Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Appeal by Participants of the International Youth Tiger Forum

We, the youths participating in the International Youth Tiger Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, in this Year of the Tiger, appeal to the world to save the tiger. We represent all 13 tiger range countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam) and the United Kingdom.

During these past few days, we have learned more about the plight of the tiger, its decline and the threats facing the species. Not only is the tiger hunted, it is also losing much of its home – the forests.

We know for many of our countries, development is important. However, we do not want development that results in us losing many of the world’s natural wonders and wild species like the tiger. We want our children to be able to inherit a living planet full of the wonders of the natural world.

The tiger knows no political boundaries. For example, tigers from Russia travel to China, and tigers from Nepal frequently cross into India. Likewise, tigers from Laos trespass the border into Vietnam, before wandering into Cambodia.

We therefore call on the governments of the countries that still have tigers in the wild, to urgently unite in efforts to save the tiger and double its numbers in the wild by 2022. Only by swiftly acting together across borders can we reverse the situation and stop the decline of tiger populations.

We also call on the governments of economically developed countries to support national and international programmes on tiger conservation through providing funding and technical support. The conservation of the biggest cat on the planet for future generations is a noble and essential investment. Tigers live in forests rich in biodiversity; therefore, tiger conservation will have immeasurable benefits for overall nature conservation, as well as for the many local communities who rely on these areas for basic needs and ecosystem services such as food, water and timber.

We invite the world’s youths to join us in supporting tiger conservation. Our youth action plans have a role for everybody keen to lend support to the youth tiger conservation movement – from increasing awareness to mobilizing youths to take action; from adopting a green lifestyle to actively volunteering in activities such as replanting of degraded forest areas.

We pledge to continue in our role as Tiger Ambassadors to actively promote activities and mobilize the youths of the world in doing our part to conserve one of the world’s most iconic symbols of biodiversity conservation.

Let us together make this year a turning point for the tiger.

Thank you.

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