WASHINGTON, DC, November 17, 2010 – Today, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo (D-GU), Chairwoman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, introduced resolutions supporting the International Tiger Forum which will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, next week. The “Tiger Summit,” hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will bring together the Heads of Government of the 13 tiger range states to agree a recovery plan to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
“The success of the Tiger Summit will hinge not only on the commitment of tiger ranges states, but also on the commitment of key donor states, including the U.S.,” said Ginette Hemley, WWF’s senior vice president for Conservation Strategy and Science. “U.S. leadership, backed by financial and technical assistance, has been critical to tiger conservation over the past two decades and will remain critical if we are to reach our goal of doubling tiger populations by 2022. By cosponsoring these resolutions, key members of Congress from both political parties are reaffirming that leadership and recognizing that we are now at a pivotal moment in the survival of this iconic and beloved species.”
“Tiger populations are at their lowest level ever, with as few as 3,200 remaining in the wild, compared to 100,000 a century ago. The Tiger Summit is our last best chance to ensure a future for these animals in the wild. WWF extends its gratitude for the ongoing leadership of Chairman Kerry and Chairwoman Bordallo and for the critical support of the House and Senate cosponsors, from both sides of the aisle.”
Quote from Senator Kerry:
“It’s important to do everything we can to ensure that Tigers can flourish in the wild,” said Sen. Kerry. “The Global Tiger Summit offers a chance to engage other countries and promote international species conservation. By investing in tigers we can also promote local community development and create jobs for scientists here in the United States. I urge Congress to support the goals of the Summit.”
Quote from Congresswoman Bordallo:
“We are looking at the very real possibility of tigers going extinct in the wild during our lifetimes,” said Congresswoman Bordallo, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife. “This collaboration among an unprecedented number of world leaders is our chance to ensure the viability of tiger populations, by committing to the targeted protection of tiger source sites. The U.S. must continue to be a leader in efforts to conserve iconic species such as this one.”