Today, July 29th, is Global Tiger Day, also known as International Tiger Day. The purpose of the event, which was launched in 2010 at the world’s first global Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, is to raise awareness on tiger conservation issues.
The 2010 St. Petersburg Tiger Summit was organized by Russian president Vladimir Putin and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick in response to research that showed wild tigers would go extinct by 2040 or sooner.
Summit goals included the establishment of a global system to preserve and restore tigers in the borders of their historical range, increase public awareness and support for tiger conservation and double the wild tiger population by 2022, from an estimated 3,200 wild tiger to more than 7,000.
More than $330 million in donor pledges was raised during the summit, which was attended by hundreds of representatives from the 13 tiger range states and members of the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), as well as the WWF, Wildlife Conservation Society, political leaders, heads of state and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell. The group unanimously adopted the St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, and endorsed the Global Tiger Recovery Program as the mechanism for its implementation.
Established in 2008, the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) is an international alliance of governments, organizations and individuals led by the 13 tiger range countries. GTI members are committed to working together toward a common agenda to save wild tigers from extinction.
GTI aspires “…to a world where, by 2022, wild tigers across Asia will no longer face the risk of extinction—and will live in healthy populations within high conservation value landscapes that are managed sustainably for present and future generations.”