In the Room: Vivek Menon on The Global Tiger Summit

Was fantastic to be in the same room as Putin and Wen Jiabao and three other prime ministers in the bid to save the tiger. Putin was the most clear headed in his remarks on what it will take to save the tiger. He talked of man and beast being part of nature.


Preity Zinta at the IFAW stand during the 2010 Global Tiger Summit in St. Peterburg, Russia.
Was fantastic to be in the same room as Putin and Wen Jiabao and three other prime ministers in the bid to save the tiger. Putin was the most clear headed in his remarks on what it will take to save the tiger. He talked of man and beast being part of nature. We have done a lot for man, it is time to do something for other species too.

He quoted Gandhi (maybe a little off, but that was ok) and most remarkably also mentioned IFAW in his speech! Great! So did Bob Zoellick of the World Bank.The fact that literally all the 14 range states were in the room was a great achievment for the GTI and Keshav Varma of the Bank needs a special thanks for making this happen. In fact the day before in the session where I spoke on both the Global Tiger Forum and also on the IFAW capacity building there was North Korea and South Korea both represented.

Different matter that they were bombing one another in their countries on the same day! They were there for the tiger. What is important now is how to take that fantastic will that has been built up, the adrenalin from the power of the heads of state and the glamour of Bollywood and China and Malaysia and Russia (oh yes Naomi Campbell and Preity Zinta and Malaysian and Chinese rock stars were all there!) to the field. Because eventually it is there that the battle for the tiger will be won or lost.

If we don't do that we would have failed this generation. The NGOs are normally ones who blame lack of political will for failure of conservation. Well now the will is there. Can we deliver on the field? Can we build the capacity of that man who with three bullets and a hundred dollar a month job is fighting poachers, not through fancy e-based and land rover based aid but with boots and torches, a little motivation and a helping hand when he needs it the most. That is where I see IFAW's role and that is how we can be a key player in ensuring that this magnificent cat survives. -- VM

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Experts

Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Gail A'Brunzo, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Manager
Wildlife Rescue Manager, IFAW HQ
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia