The 13 tiger range countries in the world should work together in their continued efforts to save the tigers and save nature, said the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin.
He said, “The government is working with the determination to conserve wild tigers by achieving zero poaching targets with the active participation of the local community.”
The minister hoped that implementation of the joint Kuala Lumpur statement will play a significant role in increasing and stabilizing the tiger population.
He said this joining virtually from his official residence in the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation held on Friday.
He also said Bangladesh has taken several initiatives for conserving the national animal including other wild species.
Adoption of a new clause in the national constitution to protect and improve biodiversity, wetlands, forests and wildlife; Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, 2012 has the provision of 2-7 years imprisonment and Tk 1 million fine for tiger poachers, he added.
He said National Tiger Recovery Programme (2017-2022) and second-generation Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan (2018-2027) also implemented which include tiger survey; genetic study; SMART patrolling and monitoring by drone inside the Sundarbans; capacity building programs for Forest Department officials or staffs as well as local community to ensure protection & conservation of the Sundarbans and Bengal tiger.
The minister said, “To mitigate tiger-human conflicts, the administration has engaged the local community in tiger conservation activities by forming Village Tiger Response Team (VTRT), Co-management Committee (CMC) and Community Petrol Group (CPG).”
Besides, ‘Wildlife Victim Compensation Rules, 2021’ has the provision to provide up to Tk 3 lakh for a person killed by tiger as compensation.
Shahab Uddin said Wildlife Crime Control Unit has been established under the Forest Department to combat illegal wildlife trade. “To strengthen the capacity of wildlife education, research and training, Sheikh Kamal Wildlife Centre has been established which is working as a center of excellence. Bangladesh has a shared tiger habitat with India and we have strengthened our collaboration and signed a protocol for the ‘Conservation of Royal Bengal Tiger of the Sundarbans’ in 2011.”
This 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation set the common goal of stabilizing wild tiger population and its prey, as well as strengthening the conservation efforts addressing new issues within Tiger Range Countries.
The representatives of the Tiger Range Countries resolved to ensure protection and prevent the degradation of tiger habitat as well as their ecological linkages.
The conference also resolved to undertake regular country level monitoring and assessment of wild tiger, prey, and habitat, and to strengthen enforcement capacity using appropriate and standard technology for continuous and systematic patrolling to safeguard tiger, prey, and habitat.
They also decided to strengthen capacity development for all stakeholders, including the increased use of appropriate technology to improve management effectiveness, and create a platform for interactive knowledge exchange at all levels, and to enhance trans-boundary and bilateral cooperation for tiger conservation.
Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Bin Hassan, Minister for Water, Land and Natural Resources, Malaysia presided over the conference whereas ministers of Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal & Russia; Member of Parliaments; delegates from Tiger Range Countries were present in the occasion.