Putin to host Asian summit on tiger conservation aimed at doubling population by 2022

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St. Petersburg, Nov 19(ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin will host emissaries of 12 Asian nations to the first-ever international summit on tiger conservation beginning in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday.

The summit will be the culmination of two years work, moving the issue up the ladder from field agents to technical experts to civil servants and elected officials, the Globe and Mail reports.

The four-day conclave will endorse measures aimed at doubling the tiger population by 2022.

It would also include agreement on how to fund the ambitious target.

According to reports, the first five-year plan calls for 350 million dollars to combat deforestation, poaching and the market for tiger parts.

Last year, WWF Russia Chief Executive Igor Chestin had written to Putin suggesting that he must host the summit.

The President's interest in the 'big cats' is well known, including his 2008 visit to Russia's Ussuri Nature Reserve.

Meanwhile, Barney Long, the WWF's tiger program manager, insisted that Putin "really is the champion of all this. He'd been a huge leader in this process".

To meet the goal of doubling tiger populations in the next decade, member nations would need to conserve 1.2 million square kilometres of forest habitat and 115 inviolable breeding areas, covering about 135,000 square kilometres. (ANI)

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