Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is an Inter-Governmental international body focussing entirely for the conservation and protection of Tigers which was formed in 1993. It was established in 1994. In 1997, the GTF became a self-governing or an autonomous organization. India was elected to head the organization in March 2011 and was further replaced by Bhutan in 2014. The GTF has a General Assembly meeting every 3 years and at least once a year, there is a Standing committee meeting. The headquarters GTF is headed by a Secretary General and is located in New Delhi, India. It utilises obliging policies, common methods, technical skill and knowledge, scientific modules and other appropriate programmes. As per the Global Tiger Forum, it was recognised to point the foundation for tiger preservation and also provide leadership and common tactics throughout the world so that it can safeguard the survival of the tiger, its prey, and its habitat. The Global Tiger Forum is well-known to promote a worldwide campaign to save the tiger, its prey and its habitat. The GTF also has plans to encourage a legislation in the countries in order to increase the protection area network of habitats of the tiger.
Global Tiger Forum was set up based on the following goals, they are as follows-
- Promotion of Global Campaigns to save the Tigers
- Promotion of legal frameworks for Tiger Conservation
- Training and Research promotion
- Increase the number of secure Habitats for Tigers
- To urge countries to enter into relevant conventions for conservation and elimination of illegal trade.
- Provision of Infrastructure and financial support for Tiger Conservation
- Promotion of bilateral cooperation between countries
- Call upon Range Countries to prepare and update their National Action Plans for Tiger conservation
Apart from GTF, India has its own national policies as well having the main objective to protect the tigers like- Project Tiger, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The Project Tiger was launched in 1973 which is a wholly and sponsored scheme by the Central Government. It provides funds to help the States which have tigers so that they can protect them. It has the main goal of saving the tigers from extinction and to promote an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of tiger reserves, with inclusive people participation. Aims of this Project are-
- To guarantee a viable population of tigers for financial, scientific, aesthetic, social and ecological values.
- Limit the elements which lead to the reduction of tiger habitat and to tone down them by suitable strategy.
- Site-particular eco-development to decrease the dependency of local individuals and indigenous people on tiger reserve
The Project Tiger has shown positive results and according to the statistics, the tigers are surviving and their chances of extinction have become less. It has even contributed towards environmental profits to the society since it has opened a way for tourism and thereby increased the employment opportunities. This approach has brought contribution of local people and their involvement has made the habitat to revive.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a legal body under the Ministry constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, in order to protect and conserve the tigers. The Authority will have eight professionals having necessary qualifications in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribal.
Objective of the NTCA
- Being a legal authority, the directions given by it become legal and obligatory as well.
- Promoting answerability and transparency between the Centre and State in management of Tiger Reserves.
- Addressing the welfare of local people in areas living around Tiger Reserves.
The powers and the duties of the Authority are:
- to improve tiger conservation as provided under Section 38(3) of this Act.
- Assess the various aspects of maintainable ecology within the tiger reserves.
- Taking measures for addressing the issues of men and wild animal
- Provide the data on the tiger related matters like their population, mortality rate, birth rate, habitats etc.
- Provide with technical know-how along with different approaches in order to implement the tiger conservation plan
- Promoting programme for skill development of officers and staff of tiger reserves.
The Indian Parliament ratified the Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972, which safeguards and protects the wildlife in the country. This legislation forms an essential part of the environment and ensures environmental and ecological security. Also, the Act provides limitations on hunting many animal species.
Our Indian Constitution also provides for the protection of animals. Article 48A of the Constitution of India mentions the State shall protect the environment and also safeguard wildlife as well. Article 51A levies certain fundamental duties for the people of India to protect the environment which includes wildlife also.
The tiger is not just a beautiful species or a wild animal living but a unique animal which has an important role in the environment. It is a top predator and maintains the population of other animals in check further maintaining the balance between herbivores and the vegetation. Therefore, the tigers are the well-being of the ecosystem and their extinction indicates that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected. The GTF is an international organisation whose sole aim is to battle against the extinction of tigers and all the other policies made in India have the same objectives as well.