The national animal of India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and South Korea, the tiger is one of the largest living cat species in the world. It is found in habitats across Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and parts of Siberia.
However, due to poaching and excessive hunting since the 19th century, the global tiger population has decreased significantly. As a result, its habitat is under threat and needs strong efforts across member nations to help protect and increase the tiger population in the wild.
The Global Tiger Forum is one step in this direction and is a forum that includes several nations that want to create a joint effort to help the survival of these apex predators. Let's understand how the Global Tiger Forum and its initiatives play a crucial role in enabling the growth and survival of tiger populations in their natural habitat.
Global Tiger Forum - Overview
Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is an inter-governmental body set up exclusively for the conservation of tigers across nations. Established in 1994, this organization was set up as per recommendations in the International Symposium on Tiger Conservation 1993 and is supported by member nations and non-governmental organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and other bodies.
This body meets every three years and helps create legal frameworks and guidelines for member countries focused on biodiversity conservation, protecting tiger habitats and facilitating inter passage in range countries. GTF, along with World Wildlife Fund for Nature, has also undertaken a situation analysis study to understand tiger habitat status in high altitudes, which is supported by the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Program (ITHCP) of the KfW (German Development Bank) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN).
Objectives of Global Tiger Forum
The Global Tiger Forum aims to provide support and a common approach throughout the world to help safeguard the survival of tigers and their prey in their natural habitat. Its objectives are stated as follows:
- Promoting global campaigns to save the Tiger, its prey, and its habitat.
- Increasing the number of secure habitats for Tigers.
- Promoting comprehensive legal frameworks for Tiger conservation.
- Providing financial and infrastructural capabilities for Tiger Conservation.
- Promoting training and research.
- Eliciting support from Governments, Intergovernmental organizations, and individuals.
- Promoting bilateral co-operation.
- Establishing a trust fund to enable the implementation of agreed programs.
- Calling upon Range Countries to prepare and update their National Action Plans for Tiger conservation.
- To urge countries to enter into relevant conventions for conservation and elimination of illegal trade.
Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Program
As part of the Global Tiger Forum, to create frameworks and guidelines for protecting tiger habitats in high altitudes, Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Program (ITHCP) was launched in 2014. These high-altitude habitats are identified as high-value ecosystems with hydrological and ecological requirements, which need protection through sustainable land use.
ITHCP has facilitated 12 projects across its member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Myanmar) to manage tiger conservation landscapes, especially in high-altitude areas.
The program contributes to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP), a global effort that aims to double the tiger population by 2022.
Enabling Global Tiger Forum, Project Tiger is a pioneer for tiger conservation in India. The Indian government passed the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972, which aims to protect and preserve different species of flora and fauna. With a particular focus on increasing the tiger population in the country, the Indira Gandhi government in 1973 from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.
FAQs on Global Tiger Forum
Q.1. Who are the members of the Global Tiger Forum?
The member countries who are part of the Global Tiger Forum include tiger range countries like India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam. The United Kingdom is the only non-tiger range country that is supporting tiger conservation programs.
Q.2. How many countries are in the world tiger Forum?
There are 13 tiger range countries, out of which seven are members of the GTF.
Q.3. Where is the headquarters of Global Tiger Forum [GTF]?
The Global Tiger Forum has its headquarters in New Delhi, India. The general assembly of Global Tiger Forum [GTF] meets every three years.
Q.4. Is India a founding member of the Global Tiger Forum?
India is one of the founding members of the Global Tiger Forum and Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar.
Q.5. Which country has the most Tigers in 2020?
India has the largest tiger population, with 2967 tigers as per 2018 statistics.