by ANDRE RAYGOZA
Thirteen countries, which are home to the world dwindling population of wild tigers, agreed to establish an intelligence sharing network to fight traffickers concluding an anti-poaching conference in Kathmandu. Around 100 experts, government and law enforcement officials attend the five day summit, co-hosted by Nepal and conservation group WWF to hammer out a regional plan to fight poaching around Asia.
Tikaram Adhikari the director general of Nepal department of national parks and wildlife conservation said, “We cannot allow wildlife crime to continue to wrap its tentacles deeper into the region.”
Tikaram also said in a press statement,
“Our individual efforts may win us a few battles, but we can only win the war only if Asia presents a united front to stop the poaching, end the trafficking and wipe out demand.”
Nepal had twice been recognised for going a full year with no poaching incidents involving tigers, while the population of the endangered cats rose almost two thirds between 2009 and 2013.
David Lawson of WWF Tiger Alive Initiative said, “Help countries communicate better with each other, build trust and deepen cooperation which is essential to win the fight against poachers”. Lawson also said,
“Asian governments need to recognise that we are in the midst of a poaching crisis and that this theft of natural resources must be stopped.”
Decades of trafficking and habitat destruction have slashed the global tiger population from 100,00 a century ago to approximately 3,000, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.