Governments designate IFAW a partner in global plan to save tigers

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Yarmouthport, MA
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) announced today that it has been designated as one of the international conservation organizations with a key role in helping governments implement a coordinated global plan to save tigers from extinction, which is expected to be endorsed at the International Tiger Forum – known as the tiger summit – in St. Petersburg, Russia from 21-24 November.

An international IFAW delegation, including tiger conservation experts from three range countries, is joining heads of state attending the summit, which will be hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Governments of 13 tiger range states are expected to endorse the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP) and a ministerial declaration with the ambitious goal of doubling the wild tiger population over the next 12 years.

The GTRP will be backed by national action plans and joint commitments to better conserve key tiger habitat across range countries and to step up enforcement to eradicate poaching and end trafficking in tiger body parts.

IFAW is designated in the GTRP as a key partner in providing capacity-building and training to tiger range countries. IFAW brings international expertise and experience in training wildlife rangers and facilitating the sharing of best practices, which will help build field personnel capacity in tiger range countries to manage and secure protected habitat.

Headed by Fred O’Regan, IFAW President & CEO, and Azzedine Downes, IFAW Vice President of International Operations, IFAW’s multi-national delegation to the summit includes experts from three tiger range countries – India, Russia and China – where IFAW works on the front lines of tiger protection to secure habitat, fight poaching and end trade in tiger body parts and products from all sources.

Dr. Masha Vorontsova, Director of IFAW Russia, has been an influential advisor to the Russian government on tiger conservation policies, including tougher penalties for poaching. She oversees IFAW’s partnership with the Khasan ranger team, which has become the most successful anti-poaching brigade in the Russian Far East, home to the last 300-400 Amur, or Siberian, tigers.

Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW’s Asia Regional Director, is a leader in the global campaign to end the tiger trade and has personally investigated the trade in products made from tiger bones, skins and parts. Born and raised in China, she has spearheaded public awareness campaigns to reduce consumer demand for tiger body parts and products, which prompted China to step up enforcement against illegal wildlife trade activities and led to a ban on buying and selling wildlife products by Taobao, China’s largest online shop.

Vivek Menon, IFAW India Regional Director and Executive Director of IFAW partner, the Wildlife Trust of India, is a member of the Core Working Group of the Global Tiger Forum, the only intergovernmental coalition for tiger conservation. Under Mr. Menon’s leadership, WTI/IFAW has equipped and trained more than 7,000 wildlife guards, a third of India’s anti-poaching force working in protected tiger habitat and created Greater Manas, tripling a World Heritage Site and Tiger Reserve. He has worked in many capacities with the Indian government for establishment of corridors to connect fragmented populations of wild tigers, to help mitigate tiger-human conflict and stop international tiger trade.

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Experts

Azzedine Downes,Executive Vice President for International Operations, VP of P
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Isabel McCrea, Regional Director, Oceania
Regional Director, Oceania
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Kelvin Alie, Programme Director, Wildlife Trade
Programme Director, Wildlife Trade
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Campaigner, Germany
Campaigner, Germany
Tania McCrea-Steele, Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK
Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia