Premier calls for concerted efforts to save tigers

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Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday urged the international community to make joint efforts to preserve endangered wild tigers on the planet.

Addressing an unprecedented tiger summit held in this Russian city, Wen noted that the increase of human population, the expansion of human activities and the deterioration of ecological environment have driven wild tigers across the world to the brink of extinction.

Against such a grave backdrop, the international community should carry out concerted and effective action to shore up global tiger-saving efforts, he told the International Tiger Forum.

Offering a comprehensive prescription for the issue, the premier said the first priority is to actively curb excessive human activities and work for harmony between human development and natural ecological systems.

This requires relevant parties to change their modes of economic development and the lifestyles of local residents, and enhance environmental protection, he added.

Meanwhile, Wen stressed, the parties should seek proper ways to sustain the livelihood of those living in tiger habitats so that they would support and take part in tiger conservation programs.

To make the efforts effective, it is also necessary to beef up international cooperation in the crackdown on poaching as well as illegal trade in tiger body parts, he said.

Beijing pays great attention to protecting the big cat, and has rolled out a package of legislative, administrative and social projects in this regard, such as constructing a network of preservation stations and banning tiger bone trade, Wen told the forum.

Thanks to these efforts, China has seen remarkable recovery and improvement of its tiger habitats and a steady growth of its tiger population, the Chinese premier added.

The Chinese government, he said, will further consolidate the tiger-saving efforts in order to achieve a significant increase of China's tiger population, and will at the same time deepen cooperation with interested countries and organizations to promote this global drive.

The International Tiger Forum, initiated by the World Bank, was aimed at halting the continued decrease of the tiger population. High-level delegates from 13 countries, including China, Bangladesh, India and Russia, endorsed a declaration and a strategy to conserve the legendary animal.

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