India's tigers come roaring back according to new report

Tiger cub

India’s tiger population has significantly increased according to the 2014-15 India tiger estimation report released yesterday.

The report, Status of Tigers in India, 2014 published by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of the Government of India, shows that in recent years the Indian tiger population has seen a dramatic rise in numbers – from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014.

The increase in the tiger population can be largely attributed to better management and improved protection within tiger reserves and other tiger bearing protected areas. Poaching remains the greatest threat to wild tigers today with tiger parts in high demand throughout Asia.

“These results confirm that more than half of the world’s tigers are in India, and thus, an up-to-date and precise estimation becomes imperative for assessing the success of future conservation efforts. This demonstrates that species conservation works, especially when it brings together political will, strong science and dedicated field efforts,” said Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India.

The report highlights that the future of tigers in India depends on maintaining undisturbed core habitats for breeding tiger populations, habitat connectivity and protection from poaching of tigers and their prey.

The estimation exercise in India saw an unprecedented effort from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, state forest departments, the Wildlife Institute of India, and conservation organisations including WWF-India, CWS, ATREE, Aaranyak, WRCS and WCT.

Since 2010, all tiger countries have been working to double global tiger numbers, a goal known as Tx2. This new result from India coupled with the increase from the last census demonstrates that even in densely populated and economically booming Asia, ambitious targets for species recovery can be achieved. India’s tiger population in 2010 was estimated to be 1,706.

An essential part of Tx2 is for countries to count their tigers. India’s 2014 tiger estimation is the largest and most thorough tiger census ever undertaken; covering 18 states with more than 300,000 sq km surveyed including areas outside tiger reserves.

At the Dhaka Conference in September 2014, tiger countries agreed to release a new global tiger population figure in 2016, the halfway point to Tx2. This year Russia will carry out a full range Amur tiger survey, with surveys also expected from Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Bhutan. Comprehensive surveys are urgently required in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

“To undertake a census at this scale reflects the dedication, experience and leadership of the Indian National Tiger Conservation Authority,” said Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative. “However this investment and hard work can so easily be undone by poachers and it is imperative all tiger governments step up efforts to achieve zero poaching.”

In February, one of the most significant anti-poaching meetings ever held, will be hosted by the Nepalese government. The ‘Symposium: Towards Zero Poaching: Asia’ will be attended by more than 13 Asian governments, with the objective to launch an immediate, coordinated region-wide effort to halt poaching across Asia.

WWF-UK blog site scoops finalist spot at digital awards

Blog Awards 2015 shortlisted logo © UK Blog Awards

WWF-UK has been named as one of ten organisation finalists for the UK Blog Awards for their informative and educational blog.

A record-breaking 42,000 public votes were cast to shortlist the 2,000 entrants of 2015’s

The UK Blog Awards taking place on Friday 21 April 2015 at the The Montcalm, Marble Arch,
London, celebrate organisation and individual talent across 12 industry categories and 2 sub-categories commending young and innovative bloggers.

Blog editor, Duncan Mizen, said: "Since we launched the blog in 2011, the platform has gone from strength to strength." 

"As I’m responsible for the blog site here at WWF-UK, being shortlisted is a great achievement." 

"As an organisation and a charity, it’s really important that we’re involved with the UK Blog Awards, as they give recognition to all our great bloggers who have an amazing story to tell." 

"With all the successes we’ve had with our blog site this year, we’re certainly hoping we can match or improve on last year’s award. We’ve certainly got our fingers crossed."

WWF will now face an expert panel of judges, including Lynne Slowey, Group Head of Digital Content at Thomas Cook and Serena Guen, Editor in Chief of Suitcase Magazine, to determine whether they will scoop the overall title of blog of the year in their category.
Gemma Pears, founder and director of the UK Blog Awards, said: "Blogging is growing increasingly important in the UK; it’s a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field, to build you credibility, as well as being able to showcase your knowledge, whether you’re blogging as an industry professional or simply because you love to write."
"This year’s voting process has been staggering and the amount of enthusiasm we have received for the 2015 awards has been overwhelming, but is a true reflection of the importance of blogging for companies, individuals and freelancers across the UK. “Blogging is such a demanding job and, or hobby, why should people and businesses not be awarded for their hard work?"

UN climate talks fail to deliver progress - WWF comment

Scotland and others must now deliver on their climate change commitments

Commenting on the outcome of the UN Climate Change talks in Lima, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks, who has been in Lima as an observer, said:

"The final outcome from Lima is bitterly disappointing. These talks leave a huge amount of unfinished business for countries to try and resolve before Paris if we're to stand a chance of securing a new global climate deal that’s both fair and ambitious

"We need to see global emissions peak by the end of decade, yet there's a yawning gap between what the outcome in Lima commits nations to do and the scale of what the climate science is telling us. Worse still, these commitments will not be enough to protect those most vulnerable to climate chaos, but the least responsible for causing the problem.

"If there’s any silver lining, then it’s that outside of these talks civil society, along with businesses, cities, and a host of others are already acting with urgency. Governments too can do things outside of these talks, which is why countries like Scotland, along with other forward thinking nations, need to ensure they actually deliver on their existing pledges to cut emissions at home.

"In the case of Scotland, with our three missed climate targets, that means putting at least the same amount of effort into reducing emissions from transport, housing and other sectors as is successfully being put in to harnessing clean energy from renewables."

Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative at the close of the UN climate talks in Lima, Peru:

“Against the backdrop of extreme weather in the Philippines and potentially the hottest year ever recorded, governments at the UN climate talks in Lima opted for a half-baked plan to cut emissions.

“Governments crucially failed to agree on specific plans to cut emissions before 2020 that would have laid the ground for ending the fossil fuel era and accelerated the move toward renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

“The science is clear that delaying action until 2020 will make it near impossible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, yet political expediency won over scientific urgency. Instead of leadership, they delivered a lackluster plan with little scientific relevancy.

“Negotiators have wasted the wave of political optimism they rode into the talks, even after commitments to cut emissions from China and the US and an initial US$10 billion in climate finance from countries large and small.

“Developed country governments couldn’t even manage to explain how they will deliver the long-promised US$100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020. In a move that seemingly dismissed the plight of the most vulnerable countries, they completely removed any meaningful language about “loss and damage”.

“If they’re in fact serious about preventing climate catastrophe, governments now have to start immediately identifying specific actions to cut emissions and provide finance before 2020. There will be ample opportunity to do so with the most powerful countries gathering at the G7 and UN summits both planned for June 2015. And they have six months to put forward their most ambitious emissions cuts and finance commitments for 2020 onwards, with all information to describe how they will meet those commitments.

“The outcome in Paris is still a mystery and governments can solve it. But it’s going to be hard road to pull everything together in the next year and churn out an adequate and equitable deal based on science and not politics.”

“In a stark contrast to the negotiations we have seen positive developments outside. Latin American countries have have shown that decisive climate action is indeed possible, through announcements to ramp up renewable energy, further reduce forest-based emissions, and contributions towards the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund, with their own resources and support from others.”

“Leaving Lima, WWF will continue to work with other civil society partners, local and national governments, businesses, and others inside and outside of this process to keep up the fight to address climate change with urgency.