The Global Tiger Initiative has evolved to support the specific strategy outlined by the TRC governments in the Global Tiger Recovery Program. The governments of these countries along with international partners form the core of the GTI, and work together on the shared agenda of tiger conservation. The number of financial supporters and partners of the GTI has increased greatly since the launch in 2008, adding to the range of organizations that have already been working on the frontlines of conservation for decades. The supporters are a loose coalition of international organizations, bilateral and multilateral financial institutions, representatives of civil society and the private sector, and academic institutions. The World Bank/GTI and the Smithsonian Institution, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and Clemson University have signed agreements establishing formal partnerships, while many more partners are informal stakeholders that take part in GTI’s convening process. These include the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wildlife Alliance, National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, and many others. See a full list of partners.
Tiger Range Countries (TRC) Ministries
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park hosted the launch of the Global Tiger Initiative in June 2008, and is a founding partner. In 2009, the Smithsonian and the World Bank signed a formal agreement to cooperate on capacity building in the tiger range countries. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute created the Tiger Conservation Partnership in collaboration with the GTI to provide a scalable model of professional training and leadership for conservation policymakers and practitioners, including wildlife officers, field managers, and researchers across the 13 TRCs. The partnership has helped create an online community of practitioners dedicated to sharing knowledge about best practices to conserve tigers, and, building on the world-class research capabilities of the Smithsonian, is creating a Core Learning Program to reach out to thousands who will make up the TRCs’ front line in efforts to save the tiger from extinction.
Global Environment Facility
The GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment and promote environmentally sustainable development. The GEF is a founding member of the Global Tiger Initiative, and is one of the world’s largest financial supporters of biodiversity conservation. It is a long-standing supporter of tiger conservation, with initiatives such as Save Our Species (SOS), which focuses on targeted conservation in biodiversity hotspots around the globe. The role of the GEF, along with other major funding partners, in securing and leveraging necessary the financing necessary to implement the Global Tiger Recovery Program, is recognized by the TRCs.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
The World Wildlife Fund is one of the world’s leading non-profit conservation organizations. It works worldwide to protect species, advance and finance conservation, and influence policy. With a long history of scientific research and financial mobilization in support of tiger conservation, the WWF has played a prominent role in the development of the Global Tiger Recovery Program and ‘Tx2,’ the ultimate goal of doubling wild tiger populations worldwide by 2022. It is a critical advisor, stakeholder, and fellow traveler assisting in the implementation of the GTRP.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
IFAW works internationally to connect animal welfare and conservation. The organization leverages regional campaigns and projects to achieve global influence and impact. Its hands-on approach to projects on the ground and advocacy for wildlife conservation help inform and influence policy around the world. IFAW’s senior leadership has formed a close partnership with the Global Tiger Initiative, participating in many of the workshops and conferences including the 2010 International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg. It plays an important role in awareness and demand-reduction campaigns, as well as youth outreach to support the cause of tiger conservation.
Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS focuses its on-the-ground efforts on saving important landscapes, seascapes, and “global priority species” that are vulnerable to extinction, important to humans, and powerful icons of nature. The organization works to conserve key wildlife populations through various projects across the globe. The WCS is a top-tier global non-profit conservation organization that mobilizes resources and uses technical expertise to support conservation on the ground. Conservation of wild tigers has long been a top priority of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s scientists and practitioners. It has worked in critical tiger conservation landscapes and has advised the GTI on policy, scientific monitoring, and best practices in implementation of the Global Tiger Recovery Program.
President of the World Bank Group Robert B. Zoellick (2007-12) launched the Global Tiger Initiative in 2008, convening major organizational partners and high-level political leaders from around the world. In addition to funding the GTI Secretariat, the World Bank has been instrumental in helping lead the coordination efforts that produced the Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg in 2010, and financial mobilization for implementing the Global Tiger Recovery Program, and providing intellectual groundwork for capacity-building efforts on the front lines of tiger conservation. The World Bank has tapped into its International Development Agency (IDA) funds to finance the first regional wildlife conservation projects in the tiger range countries.
Confederation of Indian Industry
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India, partnering industry and government through advisory and consultative processes. As the major industry and business association in India, its membership is made up of the country’s top business leaders. Extending its agenda beyond business, CII assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programs. The CII and World Bank signed agreements in 2012 to collaborate with public and private sector institutions in India to increase protection and conservation of critical habitats of wild tigers, promote Smart Green Infrastructure, and establish better spatial and zoning planning tools to minimize impacts of development on remaining tiger populations and critical wildlife corridors.
TRAFFIC – Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, is a joint program of WWF and IUCN–the International Union for Conservation of Nature. TRAFFIC works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. It focuses on leveraging resources, expertise, and awareness of the latest globally urgent species trade issues such as that in tiger parts, elephant ivory, and rhino horn. Representatives of TRAFFIC are regular presenters at tiger conservation conferences and workshops organized by the Global Tiger Initiative. TRAFFIC’s global network embodies some of the most advanced monitoring efforts related to wildlife crime, and the organization has built an important knowledge database on international wildlife crime and trafficking hotspots.
UK Defra (Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs)
Defra is the United Kingdom’s government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues. Its main priorities are to grow the rural economy, improve the environment and safeguard animal and plant health. It is a ministerial department, supported by 35 agencies and public bodies. Defra has been an early supporter of biodiversity conservation, both in its advocacy and financial mobilization for frontline work. It has supported the GTI since its inception, and has supported tiger conservation through bilateral engagement with countries and as the first donor to GTI’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
KfW Bankengruppe operates in developing, industrializing, and transitional countries, supporting the development of efficient frameworks and functioning economic and social infrastructure. The Bank works on projects to combat poverty and protect the climate and environment. It also supports German and European exports by financing business investment. KfW has sent representation to several of GTI’s workshops and ministerial meetings to explore how to support the Global Tiger Recovery Program, building on its existing investments in carbon projects and collaboration with WWF and WWF Germany in the Russian Far East, that helps use carbon allowances to conserve virgin forest around the Bikin River, a significant tiger conservation landscape and habitat for the Amur tiger in Russia.
Save the Tiger Fund
Save the Tiger Fund funded grants for tiger conservation across the 13 tiger range countries from 1995 to 2009. The organization was a founding member of the Global Tiger Initiative. STF gave grants totaling $17.3 million between 1995 and 2009, amounting to about one quarter of all philanthropic funds spent on tiger conservation globally. ExxonMobil’s contribution to this effort was the largest single corporate commitment to saving a species. Save the Tiger Fund has recently partnered with Panthera to carry out effective conservation activities to save wild tigers and endangered wild cat species worldwide.
USAID (United States Agency for International Development)
USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress and aims to expand stable, free societies, to create markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad. It works in more than 100 countries with a broad mission and scope of development work including health, education, environmental sustainability, governance, and human rights. USAID has been actively engaged with tiger range countries and the GTI, and is scaling up its work on biodiversity and forestry programs, as well as on climate change.
US National Park Service
Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, the Park Service safeguards more than 400 places and shares their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. The National Park Institute and University of California, Merced organize management seminars on leadership, innovation and organizational renewal for park and protected-area leaders at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, UC Merced and Yosemite National Park. GTI is working with both to partner on a capacity-building initiative that will help bring excellence and experience in park management to conservation practitioners working on the ground in tiger range country protected areas.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
The USFWS is a United States government agency that assists in the development and application of an environmental stewardship ethic in the United States, based on ecological principles, scientific knowledge of fish and wildlife, and a sense of moral responsibility. It also guides the conservation, development, and management of the United States’ fish and wildlife resources. It is also a financial supporter of efforts in tiger range countries through programs such as Wildlife Without Borders – Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund.USFWS participated in the multi-country, multi-stakeholder process that produced the Global Tiger Recovery Program and Global Support Programs.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life. It operates in 177 countries and territories. UNDP works in four main areas: poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; and environment and sustainable development. The agency is involved in biodiversity conservation in tiger range countries, and works with the GTI to align its long-standing conservation programs to the goals endorsed by tiger range countries in the GTRP.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement among 178 governments of the world. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The Convention is a crucial international institution that sets standards and priorities to contribute to the health of wildlife and sustainability. The CITES Secretariat plays a major role in big cat conservation, and reports on countries’ adherence to international guidelines on the trade of wildlife and wildlife parts. The CITES Secretariat is also a founding partner of ICCWC, the International Consortium for Combating Wildlife Crime.
Global Tiger Forum
The Global Tiger Forum is an intergovernmental body founded in 1994 to highlight the rationale for tiger preservation and provide leadership and a common global approach to safeguard and ensure the survival of the tiger, its prey, and habitat. Eleven tiger range countries participate in GTF deliberations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and regularly convene to voice their concern and focus the attention of the world community on the urgent need for measures to ensure for the survival of this magnificent species. The GTF is recognized by range states, other governments, and intergovernmental fora (e.g., CITES and CBD) as a UN-mandated forum dedicated solely to tiger conservation.
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology, and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation. It also has a major media presence around the world with its television network, web, and iconic print magazine. National Geographic regularly promotes awareness of big cat conservation and grassroots action on the ground with its Big Cats Initiative. The Big Cats Initiative and Global Tiger Initiative are launching a partnership in 2013, which will showcase important innovations in conservation in the tiger range countries, as well as celebrate major champions of conservation.
Clemson University is the largest public university in South Carolina, located in the southeastern United States. It has successfully combined the scientific and technological horsepower of a major research university with the academic and social environment of a small college. Clemson and the US National Park Service recently agreed to collaborate on a project called the Open Parks Network that creates open data, research, management, and digital content about national parks and protected areas. In 2012, Clemson embarked on a partnership with the World Bank and GTI to make the Open Parks Network available for partners in the TRCs to use and access knowledge and data in tiger conservation landscapes to help practitioners and park managers tackle conservation challenges. Clemson’s official mascot is the tiger.
SCANEX is the leading Russian company in the remote-sensing market that offers a complete set of services ranging from acquisition to thematic processing of Earth observation images from space. Today, ScanEx is the only Russian company that has signed license agreements with the top world remote-sensing Operators for direct data acquisition from SPOT, FORMOSAT, EROS, UK-DMC2, RADARSAT satellites series to UniScan™ ground stations, enabling regular near-real-time monitoring of territories of Russia and the CIS countries with spatial resolution from hundreds to fewer than one meter. SCANEX is collaborating with GTI to provide imaging services to assist tiger range countries with scientific data, services, and analysis that could help conserve habitat in the tiger conservation landscapes.
INTERPOL is the leading intergovernmental police organization with 93 member nations.
While its work has traditionally centered on public safety, drugs and human trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime, the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme leads global and regional operations to dismantle the criminal networks behind environmental crime using intelligence-driven policing; and among other things brings together criminal investigators from around the world to share information and initiate targeted projects to tackle specific areas of environmental crime. INTERPOL has been proactive in supporting efforts to combat wildlife crime in tiger range countries through programs such as Project Predator, funded by USAID, UK Defra, and the World Bank. INTERPOL is also an important member in ICCWC, the International Consortium for Combating Wildlife Crime.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is spearheading regional and transnational initiatives that strengthen the rule of law, stability and development. It is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. UNODC’s efforts target the world’s most vulnerable regions where the convergence of drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism threatens regional and global security. The organization is a founding member of the International Consortium for Combating Wildlife Crime, and helps provide analysis and support to help understand and address drivers of wildlife crime. This support will assist tiger range countries fight corruption and the epidemic of wildlife trafficking and other crimes.
World Customs Organization (WCO)
As an intergovernmental organization, the WCO is the center of excellence that provides leadership in customs matters at the international level and advises customs administrations worldwide on management practices, tools and techniques. It is noted for its work in areas covering the development of global standards, the simplification and harmonization of customs procedure, the facilitation of international trade, trade supply chain security, the enhancement of customs enforcement and compliance activities, anti-counterfeiting and piracy initiatives, public-private partnerships, integrity promotion, and sustainable global customs capacity building programs. WCO is one of the five partners that make up the International Consortium for Combating Wildlife Crime, supporting enforcement of international law and procedures to reduce criminal trafficking of illegal wildlife parts and derivatives.
Environmental Investigation Agency
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organization committed to bringing about change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse. The EIA specializes in investigations of environmental abuse and crime against endangered species and fragile habitats. Evidence gathered during these investigations helps EIA expose environmental criminals and pursue its campaign agenda to protect and conserve biodiversity. EIA has contributed to the tiger conservation agenda as an active partner of the GTI, and has a track record of investigating the trafficking of tiger skins and parts across the range states, with particular focus on the criminal networks in Tibet and Greater Mekong Sub-region in Southeast Asia. It attempts to work with governments and hold governments to account on promises to crack down on wildlife crime.
ASEAN-WEN (ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Wildlife Enforcement Network is the world’s largest wildlife law enforcement network that involves police, customs, and environment agencies of all 10 ASEAN countries–Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. It facilitates increased capacity and better coordination and collaboration of law-enforcement agencies among Southeast Asian countries, regionally and globally. ASEAN-WEN plays an important role in transboundary collaboration to combat wildlife crime, and has helped coordinate multi-country interventions to support conservation of tigers and other endangered species.