The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has awarded a grant to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for a bold initiative to help Nepal double the population of wild tiger by 2022, the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.
The award was presented on the third anniversary of the historic Global Tiger Summit. The grant will bolster WWF’s work with the Government of Nepal and local communities in five protected areas of Nepal’s Terai Arc landscape to strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, restore critical corridors for their dispersal and expansion, and continuously monitor tiger populations.
Previous support from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation had proved fruitful as it helped grow the number of tigers in the Terai’s Bardia National Park from an estimated 18 to 50 tigers.
The grant represents the first funds awarded from the successful Christie’s 11th Hour Charity Auction in May, created by DiCaprio.
DiCaprio has long been a passionate advocate for the environment and joined forces with WWF beginning in 2010 to launch Save Tigers Now, a global campaign to raise political, financial and public support to save tigers in the wild.
“Time is running out for the world’s remaining 3,200 tigers, largely due to the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching,” said Leonardo DiCaprio, a WWF board member.
“WWF, the Government of Nepal and local communities are on the front lines of this battle and I am hopeful this grant will help them exceed the goal of doubling the number of these noble creatures in the wild.”
Nepal is on target to become one of the first tiger range countries to achieve the 2010 Global Tiger Summit’s goal of doubling wild tigers by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
The Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal, where the grant will be used, is 9,000 square miles and includes six protected areas that are critical tiger, rhino and elephant habitat. The densely populated region is also home to nearly seven million people, majority of whom who depend on its natural resources for their livelihoods.
“Nepal’s successful tiger conservation programme is the result of the seamless efforts and commitment of the Government of Nepal, its conservation partners including WWF, and the local communities,” stated Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal.
source: Gorkhapatraonline.com, 22 NOV 2013