Bhutan and Tiger Conservation Coalition Pledge to Raise $1 Billion for Tiger Preservation

Paro, Bhutan – The Sustainable Finance for Tiger Landscapes Conference came to a close today, marking a historic moment for global conservation efforts. Under the patronage of Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan, the conference aimed to mobilize support for protecting tigers and their habitats.

In her opening address, Her Majesty stressed the urgency of protecting tiger habitats to preserve the planet’s wellbeing. She also emphasized the importance of sustainable funding to achieve this task.

“We must not neglect the vital need for sustainable funding in our commitment to conservation,” said Her Majesty. “This conference aims to raise significant resources through innovative financing mechanisms for tiger landscapes.”

The conference, held at Dungkar Dzong in Pangbisa, Paro, brought together tiger range countries, private and public sector donors, international development agencies, and other conservation organizations. Representatives from ten tiger range countries discussed progress and ambitions for conserving their tiger landscapes, as well as key financing challenges and opportunities. His Royal Highness Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, Crown Prince of Pahang, also addressed the conference, highlighting his commitment to increasing protected area coverage in Malaysia.

The Paro Statement, issued by the Royal Government of Bhutan in partnership with the Tiger Conservation Coalition, called for a joint commitment to mobilize an additional $1 billion over the next ten years for tiger landscape conservation. These funds will not only contribute to increasing the global tiger population, but also to expanding tiger range, enhancing ecological integrity and overall biodiversity, and benefiting local communities that share space with this species.

Valerie Hickey, Global Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy, stated, “We will never have a world without poverty if we do not have tigers.”

The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dasho Tshering Tobgay, also emphasized the importance of sustainable financing for tiger conservation. “Tigers represent much more than endangered animals,” he said. “They represent the health of our forests and resilience of entire ecosystems, as well as our collective well-being and that of our future. To get the work done, we need resources; we need funds. This conference can be a watershed moment in the history of tigers and conservation.”

The Paro Statement reflects a commitment to implementing innovative finance solutions, fostering collaboration between international and public-private sectors, and supporting national-level initiatives that benefit both tigers and people. The conference highlighted various sustainable financing opportunities that could be implemented or scaled to support conservation efforts in tiger range countries. One of these solutions, the Tiger Landscapes Investment Fund, was presented by the UNDP. This new blended financial mechanism aims to catalyze nature-positive businesses with positive impacts on tigers, biodiversity, and people. The Asian Development Bank also expressed its intention to explore opportunities to support relevant countries with innovative financing instruments, such as a tiger bond to engage private sector investors and promote nature-based solutions and conservation.

In his closing statement, Lobzang Dorji, Director of the Department of Forests and Park Services with Bhutan’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, expressed gratitude to all participants for their dedication to the cause and stressed the importance of continued collaboration to achieve the ambitious goals outlined in the Paro Statement.

The conference marks the first step in a ten-year collaborative process towards securing sustainable financing for the conservation of tiger landscapes.

Quotes from the Tiger Conservation Coalition:

Richard Scobey, Executive Director of TRAFFIC, stated, “The Paro Statement provides a powerful call to action to accelerate global efforts to increase tiger populations, restore their habitats, and support communities living with tigers. These investments will not only secure the future for these magnificent animals, but also contribute to broader global commitments for biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development. However, we will only achieve these goals if we eradicate poaching, illegal trade, and consumer demand for tigers and their parts and products. TRAFFIC is committed to supporting the ongoing work of Tiger Range Countries to bridge the gaps in law enforcement, investigations, prosecution, and consumption to safeguard tigers from poaching and illegal trade.”

Dr. Grethel Aguilar, Director General of IUCN, stated, “The Sustainable Finance for Tiger Landscapes Conference gave us the opportunity to celebrate our progress while recognizing the fragility of our success. It also raised the urgency of mobilizing funds to conserve tiger habitats in living landscapes. This collective effort, guided by the ambitious vision of the Paro Statement, underlines the crucial role of partnerships and integrated approaches in safeguarding not only tigers, but also biodiversity, climate resilience, and sustainable development. IUCN is committed to creating a future where tigers thrive, acting as beacons of coexistence and prosperity for both wildlife and local communities across different landscapes.”

Fred Launay, President and CEO of Panthera, stated, “The Sustainable Finance for Tiger Landscapes Conference emphasized integrating approaches to restore tiger landscapes, reverse biodiversity loss, and mitigate climate change. In

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