The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Anil Madhav Dave has exhorted tourists from across the world to come to India to see the Tiger. Speaking at a function to celebrate the International Tiger Day today, the Minister urged upon the students to conserve tigers. Shri Dave pointed out that students from various schools have gathered here today, because they all are themselves Tigers. He said that people in India love the Tiger and added that by conserving the Tigers, India has 2, 226 Tigers, which constitutes 70% of the population of Tigers the world over. The Environment Minister said that the Tigers are spread out in over 17 States and 49 sanctuaries across the country. He stated that a healthy Tiger is a symbol of healthy environment. Shri Dave expressed the hope that India will be able to double the population of its Tigers by 2022 by conserving and caring for the Tigers. He also emphasized that India is contributing significantly towards achieving the St. Petersburg target, commonly referred to as T X 2. The Minister also administered a pledge for tiger conservation to the gathering of students. Later, the Minister later flagged off the ‘Walk for Tiger’. Due to the ongoing conservation efforts under Project Tiger, India has the maximum number of tigers, along with its source areas, amongst the 13 Tiger Range Countries in the world.
The status of wild tiger across Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) continues to remain endangered. Though there have been some gains in the population build-up in some TRCs like India, Nepal, Bhutan and Russia, the global scenario is a major cause for concern. Tigers have become locally extinct in some TRCs and the status of prey, as well as the habitat, has declined in many. The heads of Governments of Tiger Range countries which inter alia includes India, have resolved to strive to double the number of wild tigers (T X 2) across their range by 2022 and adopted the St. Petersburg Resolution on Tiger Conservation, at St Petersburg, Russia, wherein July 29 was endorsed as Global Tiger Day. In his welcome remarks, Additional Director General, Forests, Shri B.S Bonal said that children are the custodians of the future and their presence, on the occasion, shows their love for Tiger. Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha and officers of MoEFCC and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), as well as conservation partners, besides hundreds of school students from Delhi NCR were among those present on the occasion. The National Tiger Conservation Authority, along with conservation partners organized the “Walk for the Tiger”. The event had been organized in collaboration with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Global Tiger Forum, WWF-India, Wildlife Trust of India, TRAFFIC, Kids for Tigers and Aircel.