The United Nations Development Programme’s excellent new educational booklet Burning Bright: UNDP and GEF in the Tiger Landscape, published April 13th 2016, is probably the best guide to the state of the world’s tigers. It shows the current and former ranges of these magnificent big cats, their principle threats and the ecological, cultural and economic importance of preservation of their vital habitats, demonstrating how conservation activities in tiger habitat in ten GEF financed, UNDP supported projects in Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand are accomplishing far more than the preservation of this iconic, endangered wildlife species, Panthera tigris alone, fundamentally important though that is.
The dedicated UNDP webpage says the booklet shows how their “strategy comprises maintenance of vital ecosystem services, improved livelihoods and realization of rights and enhanced security through comprehensive policy and functioning systems of natural resource governance” in these six tiger range countries.
It shows how their projects employ “a comprehensive approach based on clear identification of threats and barriers” to “catalyze significant improvement in human well-being and support countries’ efforts towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
While this booklet is ideal source material for school research projects on the subject of Environment and Development it also grounds this conservation work by showing the cultural and historical importance of tigers to billions of people.
Long may these majestic carnivores burn brightly in their forests of the night!