$1 Billion Needed Over Next Decade to Conserve Tigers and Their Habitats

Tigers walking

Bhutan summit to bring foremost tiger conservationists and financial institutions together to identify new funding streams protecting largest wild cat, the 100 million people it supports

Media Contact: Susie Weller Sheppard, sweller@panthera.org
Day 1 and Day 2 Livestream Links. 

Paro, Bhutan - On the occasion of Earth Day 2024, the Royal Government of Bhutan is hosting the Sustainable Finance for Tiger Landscapes Conference under the patronage of Her Majesty The Queen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck. The Conference seeks to mobilize US $1 billion in new funding over 10 years for the preservation of tiger landscapes, which are vital to maintaining biodiversity, sequestering carbon, supplying resources to over 100 million people, and ensuring the overall health of our planet. 

Co-organized by the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Tiger Conservation Coalition, the conference will include expert panels leading insightful discussions on sustainable finance, linkages with the United Nations’ Global Biodiversity Framework, and the role of public-private partnerships in safeguarding tiger landscapes. The two-day event brings together tiger range countries, visionary private and public sector donors, thought leaders, international development agencies, and conservation NGOs to foster dialogue, collaboration, and innovative solutions for the conservation of tigers and tiger habitats.

Formed ahead of the 2022 Year of the Tiger, the Tiger Conservation Coalition comprises a diverse group of tiger conservation organizations and multilateral agencies that support tiger range countries in realizing their long-term tiger conservation ambitions and delivering impact for both nature and people from the local to the global levels.

His Excellency the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay, stated “Bhutan is honored to host this globally significant event on tiger landscape conservation as part of our ambitions to be a world leader in environment sustainability, carbon neutrality, and biodiversity conservation.”

CEO of the Global Environment Facility, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, said “Since 2010, the Global Environment Facility has provided more than $197 million in financing and mobilized another $880 million, in co-finance, for tiger conservation. To increase effectiveness of the GEF’s investments, and to mobilize sustainable financing for biodiversity conservation and use, we need to expand collaboration across all sectors of society. This conference will bring together varied experts and leaders to focus on this iconic species and help determine how to realize biodiversity financing at the scale we urgently need.”

As the world’s largest cat and an apex predator, tigers play a pivotal role in the structure and function of the ecosystems on which humans and wildlife rely. They are a “landscape” species, needing large areas with diverse habitats, free from human disturbance and rich in prey. 

Tiger Conservation Coalition Chair and Lead of WWF's Tigers Alive Initiative, Stuart Chapman, said “Landscapes with wild tigers are healthy and vibrant ecosystems which are critically important in a climate changing world. Securing these tiger landscapes through sustainable financing will bring multiple benefits to the people and wildlife across Asia .”

Keynote speakers will include a global environmental champion, His Excellency the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay; CEO and Chairperson of the world’s biggest biodiversity fund, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez; and leaders in the financial sector such as Robert Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee and founding partner of Kepos Capital in New York. Collectively, speakers and panelists will shine a spotlight on tigers and their potential to maximize contributions to global biodiversity, climate, and sustainable development agendas.

In 2022, in a tremendous turning point for a species on the brink of extinction, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the global tiger population had stabilized and potentially increased. Data suggested a possible 40% increase in tiger numbers, from 3,200 in 2015 to 4,500 in 2022, despite extreme threats. This represented the first potential climb in the species’ numbers in decades. Still, scientists cautioned that the increase may be due in part to improvements in counting of the species.

Panthera Tiger Program Director, Dr. Abishek Harihar, stated, "Tiger range countries and the conservation community have made extraordinary progress in protecting the species in recent years, with several populations witnessing upward trajectories in numbers. Carrying momentum from this recent win for the species, the coming together of inspired minds from a diversity of public and private sectors is precisely what is needed to strategically identify how a long-term future for the tiger is financially possible, to the benefit of the world’s largest wild cat, our planet and the communities who live alongside the species."

About the Tiger Conservation Coalition
The Tiger Conservation Coalition brings together leading biologists and experts in wildlife crime, human-wildlife coexistence, policy, finance, development and communications, with unprecedented alignment on achieving tiger conservation at scale. Its member organizations include the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Environmental Investigation Agency; Fauna & Flora; Natural State; Panthera; TRAFFIC; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the Wildlife Conservation Society; Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). For more information contact info@tigercoalition.org