Vladimir Putin speaks at a news conference following the International Tiger Conservation Forum

Vladimir Putin speaks at a news conference following the International Tiger Conservation Forum

23 November 2010

Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,


First and foremost, I would like to thank the government heads, chief delegates, experts, environmentalists, and members of non-government organisations for the constructive and productive dialogue today.


Today we have approved the Declaration on Tiger Conservation to give form to our intentions to ensure that the initiatives aimed at protecting this animal are supported at the highest level. I would like to stress once again that I consider this work to be only one part of the overall effort to preserve wildlife.


We are, in effect, adding the goal of saving the tiger to the international community’s agenda. This will help us exchange information with each other regularly, coordinate our actions efficiently, set new goals, and launch new joint measures.


We have a lot of work ahead of us. But I have no doubt that together we will realise all our plans.


It is very important to have so many enthusiasts involved in the effort to save the tiger. I would like to make special mention of World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who did a lot to promote the Global Tiger Initiative, which involved thousands of scientists, experts, public figures and politicians suggesting their ideas and proposals for a global strategy to protect tigers. 


And we are really glad that the initial results of this large-scale work were reviewed here in Russia. We see this event as an acknowledgement of Russia’s efforts to protect wildlife and its key role in implementing the Global Programme for Tiger Conservation, which was approved at the forum.


The programme’s main goal is to double the tiger population and significantly expand its habitat by 2022. This task is difficult indeed, but experience tells that it can be achieved, no doubt about it.


I would like to remind you that Russia is the only country in the world whose tiger population has significantly grown since the mid twentieth century. According to the estimates of scientists, no more than 30 tigers lived in the Russian taiga then, while the current number, as I have already mentioned at the forum, stands at about 500 tigers.


The World Wildlife Fund announced that the number of the Amur tigers has reached its highest level in the last 100 years and they are no longer at risk of becoming extinct.


I would like to add that our experience restoring the Amur tiger population is currently being used in projects to restore the population of snow leopards and leopards in Russia.


And now, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to address representatives of the media. The goals set forth in the Global Programme for Tiger Conservation cannot be achieved without the active participation of ordinary citizens. Broad public support and understanding of the process are extremely important for the success of the programme.


We expect the media to get involved in promoting tiger conservation programmes and to cooperate with many other conservation projects and initiatives. 


Ladies and gentlemen, people listen to you, they trust you, and you are able to promote care and concern for nature – not only for the tiger but for all of nature.


Once again I would like to thank all those who helped organise the St Petersburg’s International Tiger Conservation Forum, and I would like to express my hope that we will achieve all the goals we have set together.

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