Cross-border action needed to save tigers, conference hears
Remarks by Bakary Kante, Director of the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions of the United Nations Environment Programme at the International Tiger Conservation Forum on behalf of Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
St. Petersburg, Russia, 22 November 2010
2010 is the UN's International Year of Biodiversity - the year in which nations pledged to substantially reverse the rate of loss of biodiversity.
This did not happen - scientists tell us that we are amidst a sixth wave of extinctions.
The tiger is emblematic of a global crisis and an international challenge that is about the fate of all life on Earth: humans included.
But 2010 has proven that humanity can rise to the challenge. The recently concluded meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan demonstrates this.
Countries put aside differences and came together to agree on inspiring new actions and targets to complete a job unfinished.
After 20 years of paralysis, they also agreed to an international regime on the access and benefit sharing of genetic resources.
Developed nations from Spain to France and Japan to Norway came forward with finance across a wide range of biodiversity issues.
The economic importance of biodiversity-and of ecosystems such as forests, soils and coral reefs-to rich and poorer nations alike moved from the fringes into the centre of political and developmental debate.
This is in large part through the work of the UNEP-hosted Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) which has been putting the hard numbers on the table.
The International Tiger Forum, organized by the Government of Russia; the City of St Petersburg; the World Bank; the Global Environment Facility and WWF-Russia, is part of this remarkable year.