Chhimi Dema  

Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen attended the International Youth Tiger Summit held virtually yesterday. 

Addressing the youth ambassadors, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, said: “Where tigers have vanished, the lands are barren and devoid of life forms. Put simply, the tiger is a barometer of life in our forests and, by extension, the health of our living planet.”

Youths from the 13 tiger countries presented 14 declarations to protect tigers from poaching and changing natural habitats. Their recommendations were on broad themes of addressing the loss and deterioration of tiger habitat, poaching of tigers and snaring crisis; the threat and impacts of climate change on tiger populations; and promoting human-tiger coexistence.

This declaration highlights crucial actions recommended by the youth delegates to three key stakeholders: government, communities, and individuals.

The summit was held ahead of the next month’s inter-governmental discussions on the Global Tiger Recovery Programme that aims to reverse the rapid decline of wild tigers and double the number of wild tigers across their range by 2022.

The summit organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is hosted every 12 years during the Lunar Year of the Tiger and brings together young people from 13 tiger range countries and beyond to highlight the desperate need to protect tigers.

The first International Youth Tiger Summit was held in 2010 in Russia.

Youth delegates shared their roles in tiger conservation in their communities.

During the summit, in their attempt to save living tigers, they pledged to bring social media content promoting tiger conservation to reach a wider audience, participate in campaigns for its conservation, avoid tiger products and inform relevant officials if they see the products in the market.

A student from the Motithang Higher Secondary School, Sonam Rinchen, also the WWF Bhutan youth ambassador, said that tigers are an essential part of the ecosystem.

“I pledge to be an ambassador of tiger conservation throughout my life. I pledge to spread awareness of tiger conservation to whomever I met,” he said.

Sonam Rinchen added that through his youth group, he aims to create awareness and call for tiger conservation in all the dzongkhags.

The summit will culminate in the presentation of the “2022 Youth Declaration for Tiger Conservation” to the Global Tiger Forum, the inter-governmental body for tiger conservation coordinating the Global Tiger Recovery Program planning for 2023 to 2034.