The tiger may have been saved from extinction, but the unabated surge in illegal trade of its parts is causing global concern, as also unorganised industries coming up near national parks.
Raising alarm bells on the rise in poaching and growing fragmentation of tiger habitats, the first stock taking meeting of Global Tiger Recovery Programme kicked off in Delhi on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the three-day global meet, the Minister of Environment and Forests, Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, said there cannot be a "one size fist all" approach to tiger conservation. What is needed is an adaptive and country-specific approach, she added.
The Minister said local communities need to be involved in the process. "The people agenda has to rank prominently in the tiger agenda,’ she said.
On concerns over the pitfalls of eco-tourism and tiger safaris on wildlife, Ms Natarajan said these needed to be addressed, but raising awareness was equally important.
The Minister also stressed on the importance of integrating the surrounding buffer areas to the core for effective conservation.
She said India and Russia will sign a co-operation agreement for saving leopards and tigers, as also a joint declaration with Nepal during this meet.
Earlier, in a video address, the World Bank President, Mr Robert Zoellick, said there are glimmers of hope for the ‘incredible cat’ but there was need to step back prioritise actions for the next three years.
He said the focus should be on protecting tiger habitats, cracking down on poaching and wildlife trafficking and law enforcement in protected areas.
According to a preliminary assessment of 63 protected areas in seven tiger range countries, only 22 maintained minimum standards. If this trend continues, there is no hope to meet the target of ore than 6,000 tigers by 2022, said the World Wildlife Fund, which assessed these areas.
Mr Keshav Varma, Director, Global Tiger Initiative, said bringing industry into the conservation partnership was important. "Corporate environmental responsibility is key to saving tiger habitats. Tiger districts need to have a master plan," he added.