New Delhi: Union minister for environment, forest and climate change, Dr Harsh Vardhan has said more innovative ways need to be devised for the conservation of tigers in the country.

“Conservation of tigers is a duty which has to be meticulously pursued and more innovative ways needs to be devised so that we can better the targets adopted by tiger range countries in 2010 at St Petersburg, Russia,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Inaugurating the Third Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation in Delhi on Monday, the minister said, “The new India that we envisage is not only for humans but for every aspect including wildlife.”

Third in a series of Stock Taking Conferences and the second to be held in India after 2012, it is expected to have wide ranging discussions on the status of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP) by the 13 tiger range countries besides deliberations on combating wildlife trafficking.

During the St Petersburg declaration in 2010, tiger range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers across their range by 2022.

At the time of deliberations at St Petersburg, India’s tiger estimate stood at 1,411, which after the third cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 2014, has nearly been doubled to 2,226.

This has largely been possible because of the strides made against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), predominant among them being legislation to ensure protection of tiger habitat and enhancement of penalties, besides providing a statutory basis for inviolate space. The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 2018 is currently under way, said Dr Vardhan, who is also the chairman of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The progress against resolution adopted by tiger range countries in 2010 at St Petersburg is measured against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as decided by the said countries. Global and National Tiger Recovery Programmes (GTRP/NTRP) were formulated by respective tiger range countries as a consequence of this historic decision.

At the conference, best practices from tiger range countries especially India, shall be presented. On the sidelines of the Stock Taking conference, India shall also hold a meeting with its neighboring tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal to discuss a sub-continent level tiger estimation report as a follow-up of deliberations held earlier.

A major outcome of the conference is expected to be course correction in strategies envisaged in GTRP/NTRPs which shall take tiger conservation forward to the intended goal as outlined in St Petersburg.

The conference is being hosted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, ministry of environment, forest and climate change in close collaboration with the Global Tiger Forum which is an international, intergovernmental organisation for conserving tigers in the world.