China sticks to anti-ban stance

China sticks to anti-ban stance

Akanshya Shah

KATHMANDU, Oct 29: Restating its stance in favor of tiger farming, the Chinese delegation at the ongoing Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop said Wednesday that China cannot put an end to its tiger farming as medicine produced from tiger parts is supplied to 60 countries.

Professor Xiong of Beijing University in his presentation at the interaction said that although China recognizes the need to stop habitat loss, it will be extremely difficult for the country to put a ban on tiger breeding and farming, a participant of the program told on condition of anonymity.

The source said that China´s anti-ban stance was criticized by other participants. Stephen Board, Executive Director of Traffic International, is said to have pointed to the need of “attitudinal change” by countries involved in tiger farming. Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia, among others, are also said to be engaging is breeding practices, besides China.

The media was prohibited from attending the interaction.

Stating that the total trade in animal parts has now crossed $10 billion in Asia alone, which is second only to the illegal trade in arms, the Global Tiger Workshop has pointed out the urgent need for governments to design proactive national policies aimed at nipping poaching in the bud.

In addition, participants have strongly urged decision makers to change the paradigm of the management model and equip the concerned departments with new and modern technology to fight poachers. Similarly, they have stressed capacity-building of staff and strengthening the intelligence unit to identify poaching sites. Moreover, they have urged states to formulate a clear system and revive the existing mechanism between and among countries to stop trafficking in animal parts.

Save the Tiger Fund, the US-based Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund and Panthera Foundation have jointly pledged 3-4 million US dollars to identify top priorities and support government efforts to fight illegal trade in tiger parts.

The workshop on Wednesday deliberated on topics ranging from steps to be taken to integrate nature conservation into development priorities and arresting habitat deterioration caused by infrastructure development and land use to engaging communities to protect tiger landscapes and helping people come out of the poverty trap, which, they said, requires “game changing actions” in order to reverse the current trajectory of extinction.

The participants also discussed strengthening wildlife enforcement and governance, improving landscape management and capacity development, suppressing demand for wild tiger parts, enhancing demand for live wild tiger, estimating conservation resource needs and developing innovative financing mechanisms.

India urged to hold anti-poaching talks

In a bid to seek renewed commitment in controlling illegal trafficking in animal parts and poaching activities from its southern neighbor, the Nepal government has asked the Indian side to hold the much-delayed secretary-level meeting on transborder cooperation as soon as possible. India has delayed the talks for three years.

“India has lagged behind in the regional effort to strengthen transborder cooperation to control poaching,” a Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation official said, adding, “We have strongly urged the Indian side to hold the talks without further delay.”

Asked to comment, spokesperson at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Shiva Raj Bhatta said, “The Indian delegation at the tiger workshop has reassured us that the talks will be initiated soon in Delhi.”

Secretary-level talks, which are supposed to design bilateral mechanisms for border management, regulation and control against poaching activities, especially illegal trade in tiger parts, have been held twice in Kathmandu in 2001 and 2006 and once in Delhi in 2003.

Govts urged to strengthen action plan

• Political will a must
• To invest in capacity-building
• WB, GTI, GTF, WWF to support regional package
• Adopt social boycott strategy
• Strengthen intelligence unit
• Change management model
• STF, RTCF and PF pledge $4 million support

Experts comment on poaching

Mahendra Shrestha
Program Director
Save the Tiger Fund

“We are only catching the smaller fish. Poaching is a deep-rooted problem and it has to be nipped in the bud. For this, the intelligence unit has to be strengthened and resources have to be mobilized to bring in new and modern technology.”

Keshav Verma
Program Director
Global Tiger Initiative

“This is a matter of national security threat and has to be addressed firmly by states. There is a need for a paradigm shift in management models. Talks will not suffice; strong action is the need of the hour.”

Shiva Raj Bhatta
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation

“Conservation has not been a priority area in Nepal due to the political instability. The government must address it with urgency and go for strengthening both national and regional mechanisms against poaching.”

Dr Hemanta Raj Mishra
Senior conservationist

“The most important factor in curbing poaching is political will followed by a strong law enforcement mechanism. The fact that the number of tigers has gone down drastically proves that the existing mechanisms have failed.”


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