Under Secretary Robert D. Hormats for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs today said the United States is proud to be part of impressive and unprecedented efforts to save the roughly 3,200 remaining wild tigers.
“It’s a pleasure to be here today to celebrate the anniversary of the Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg and the many accomplishments of the range states and the Global Tiger Initiative throughout the past year.”
– Mr. Hormats
He said the United States is committed to work towards the goal of doubling wild populations by the next year of the tiger in 2022.
“Over one hundred years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt said that, “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others. This sentiment holds true today.” -Mr. Hormats
He stressed that conservation remains a fundamental value of the American people and one that merits global attention. He added that wild tigers are among the most iconic of creatures. Tigers are at the center of much of U.S. work to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems.
He cited that the United States has funded many efforts to conserve wild tigers in their natural habitats. Over the past 14 years, the U.S. Congress has garnered bipartisan support to provide over $11 million for wild tiger conservation programs, including nearly $2 million in 2010.
“And, through our bilateral assistance, the United States Agency for International Development provided over $10 million for conservation work throughout Asia in 2010, much of this work will help protect key tiger habitats.” -Mr. Hormats
He also noted that the world need to end the illegal trade in wildlife. He said the United States has provided political and financial support to establishing a global system of regional wildlife enforcement networks, including the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network and the South Asian Wildlife Enforcement Network.
He emphasized that the United States is committed to working closely with the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime as well as INTERPOL’s new Project Predator, which specifically targets illegal trade in tigers.
“We will continue to look for innovative ways to achieve our conservation goals.” -Mr. Hormats
He highlighted that the poaching and illegal trade in tigers diminishes the world. He said it undermines global conservation efforts and threatens the economic and social fabric of local communities.