Tiger Symposium in Washington DC June 9-10

Please see attached the draft agenda for this event – we are still awaiting
final confirmation from one or two speakers. We have circulated the general
invitation widely outside the Bank but would be grateful if you would send it on
to other colleagues who may be interested.

The event is open to all who are interested. Pls could you circulate this note
widely and request interested  participants to respond to gaguilar@worldbank.org
and pboateng@worldbank.org so that we can pre-register them for visitor passes.
many thanks Kathy

As  many of you already know the Bank is launching a new Tiger Initiative on
June 9, 2008 in Washington D.C. There will be several events, including a
morning event at the Zoo and a lunch hosted by the WB President, Mr Zoellick at
the Bank These events will be attended by many high level dignitaries and
officials  but also some celebrities and  leading tiger conservationists from
the field. To take advantage of all  the  tiger experts who will be in town,
the  Environment Department has agreed to sponsor a Tiger Symposium. This  will
be a technical event on the  afternoon of June 9 (2.30 – 6 pm) to be followed by
drinks (6-7.30 pm) in the H auditorium; it should provide a nice follow on to
the morning and lunchtime events.

The symposium will be open to Bank staff and to an outside audience – we are
sending this general invitation to the main conservation NGOs and other
interested institutions e.g. USAID and Dept of Interior staff. Pls circulate to
the community of interest.

The theme will be Tiger Conservation ? Moving from Lessons Learnt Towards a
Winning Strategy. There will be two sessions on Lessons in Conservation and
Development and Lessons in Trade, Governance and Finance. The main speakers
include many well-known tiger experts who are working in a number of tiger range
states from Russia to Nepal. They  will  be asked to focus on  describing what
has worked and what still needs to be done. The sessions will conclude with a
moderated Panel to begin defining next steps and priority actions to give some
focus to follow up on the Tiger Initiative.  We are hoping that this will start
a good discussion  and that the event  will be the first step in contributing to
some sort of action plan with specific benchmarks for what the Bank and/or other
partners could do over the next 3 years to improve  conservation of tigers and
their landscapes.

Pls excuse this brief note. I am in Bonn at COP9. We will send out a more
detailed agenda once all main speakers are confirmed. Also details on how to
pre-register so that we can arrange visitor passes to the event. The event is
open to all who are interested. Pls could you circulate this note widely and
request interested  participants to respond to gaguilar@worldbank.org and

Fyi I am attaching a one pager about the overall Tiger Initiative.

(See attached file: Tiger Conservation Initiative.doc)

Kathy MacKinnon
Lead Biodiversity Specialist
Environment Department
World Bank
1818 H Street
Washington, D.C. 20433 USA
tel: 1 202 4584682, fax: 1 202 5220367

Building A Future for Wild Tigers:

The World Bank and Partners Launch a Global Tiger Conservation Initiative 

Tigers are an indicator of the health of the varied ecological systems of which they are part. Given the appeal and ecological role of tigers, their effective conservation can provide an umbrella for all biodiversity. Tiger conservation is thus vital to the conservation of many other rare and threatened species, as well as to sustaining essential ecosystem-services that forests provide, such as watershed protection, soil conservation and carbon storage.  

Despite their ecological significance, tiger populations are in decline. Tigers occupy only 7 percent of their historic range, and in the last decade their habitats have shrunk significantly. Within a century, wild tiger numbers have plunged from more than 100,000 to about 4,000 animals. Tigers have already disappeared from Central Asia, Java and Bali in Indonesia, and most of China. Habitat loss, combined with intense poaching of prey species and the illegal trade in tiger parts, has taken a severe toll, with entire populations eliminated from what were once considered secure reserves. Most tiger populations are isolated and small (numbering fewer than 30 individuals). In many of the tiger range countries, conservation remains under-funded and ranks low among government priorities. The good news is that tigers can recover if they are protected and have prey to eat. Addressing the threats to tigers calls for innovative interventions which tackle the root causes of the problem � the incentives to poach tigers and their prey and to destroy habitats.  

In the past few decades, governments, the World Bank and numerous other organizations have been involved in a number of development projects as well as specific integrated conservation and development schemes (ICDPs) in or adjacent to tiger habitats. There is a clear need for a comprehensive empirical assessment of outcomes from these projects based on quantifiable indicators to guide future tiger conservation policy because there are indications that sustained success is elusive. While responding to the tiger crisis, the World Bank recognizes these problems and thus intends to work with leading scientists, conservation NGOs, conservation institutions and governments in the tiger range countries to improve understanding and develop effective strategies for harmonizing conservation with other development objectives. It will also support cross regional initiatives to protect tigers from any form of exploitation.  The World Bank's engagement is consistent with the 2007 CITES Conference of the Parties, which called upon "all governments and intergovernmental organizations, international aid agencies, and non-governmental organizations to provide, as a matter of urgency, funds and other assistance to stop illegal trade in specimens of Asian big cat species, and to ensure the long-term survival of the Asian big cat species in the wild". 

On June 9, 2008, the Bank will launch its tiger conservation initiative with a Signature Event, to be co-hosted with the Smithsonian's National Zoo, the International Tiger Coalition and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). At this event the World Bank will announce that it will: 

  • Partner with leading scientists, NGOs, multilateral agencies, governments, and the private sector to promote tiger conservation
  • Initiate a series of high-level country dialogue workshops in the tiger range states, and promote international cooperation
  • Mainstream and adhere to "best practice" for tiger conservation in World Bank projects
  • Draw upon leading international conservationists and scientists to enhance knowledge, research and practice in tiger conservation and the prevention of illegal wildlife trade
  • Review the performance of key past projects on tiger conservation to develop lessons learned and good practice for future projects
  • Offer to host a 2010 'Year of the Tiger' Summit
  • Assess with major partners the financing needs of tiger conservation � the shortfalls and flows � and collaborate to find innovative funding sources and mobilize new resources for tiger conservation


The World Bank's involvement in tiger conservation and the evolving partnership between the International Tiger Coalition, the scientific community, the World Bank and GEF could improve global biodiversity management practices and related skills. Together with its many partners, the Bank will work to build greater awareness of the fact that maintaining tigers and other important species and their supporting ecosystems is essential to ensuring the health, wealth, and ecological security of human populations everywhere.

Global Tiger Conservation Initiative’s Signature Event 

Thematic Symposium:

Tiger Conservation � Moving from Lessons Learnt Towards a Winning Strategy 

World Bank � Eugene R. Black Auditorium

600 19th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433, U.S.A. 

Monday, June 9, 2008, 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm 

DRAFT PROGRAM (subject to change)1 

      2.30 � 2.40 Opening and Welcome

        Katherine Sierra, Vice President, Sustainable Development Network, World Bank 

          2.40 � 2:50  Tiger Habitats: A Pyramid of Life � Short Video Screening and Remarks

            Nikolay Drozdov, TV Host & Author, In the World of Animals 

              2.50 � 3:50 Session One: Lessons in Conservation and Development

                Chaired by John Seidensticker, National Zoological Park and Save the Tiger Fund

                  • John Seidensticker � setting the stage
                  • Igor Chestin, Director, WWF Russia
                  • Mahendra Shrestha, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
                  • Alexander Kulikov, Chairman, Khabarovsk Wildlife Foundation, Russia


                  3:50 � 4:10  Short Coffee Break (BBC film � Tigers: Spy in the Jungle) 

                      4:10 � 5:10  Session Two: Lessons in Trade, Governance and Finance

                        Сhaired by Carter Roberts, Director General, WWF-US

                          • Steve Broad, Director, TRAFFIC
                          • Elizabeth Bennett, Wildlife Conservation Society
                          • Sukianto Lusli, Executive Director, Burung Indonesia
                          • Gustavo Alberto Fonseca, Natural Resources Team Leader, GEF


                              5:10 � 6:00 Panel Discussion: Defining Steps Towards a Winning Strategy

                                Moderated by Jorgen Thomsen, Senior Vice President, Conservation International


                                  • Maj.-Gen Surasit Sankhaphong, Chairman, Project Coordination Unit, ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network
                                  • Eric Dinerstein, Chief Scientist, WWF-US
                                  • Holly Dublin, Chair, Species Survival Commission, IUCN
                                  • Vinod Thomas, Director General, Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank

                                      Open Microphone: Q&A 

                                        6:00 � 7:30 Cocktail Reception

                                          Hosted by the World Bank’s Environment Department 

                                        Contact / RSVP by June 4, 2008:  Grace Aguilar (tel. 1-202-473-8971, GAguilar@worldbank.org) and Perpetual Boateng (tel. 1-202-473-4733, PBoateng@worldbank.org)

                                        For the cats,

                                        Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
                                        an Educational Sanctuary home
                                        to more than 100 big cats
                                        12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
                                        813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

                                        http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

                                        Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:


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