Unscrupulous gangs and mafia can’t be allowed to irretrievably wipe out the precious natural heritage of a country. Keshav Varma, World Bank's Program Director for the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI).
Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) June 05, 2012
Endangered Tiger blog ‘a Tiger Journal.com’ will begin a four part interview series with Keshav Varma, the World Bank’s Program Director for the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), starting on World Environment Day, June 05, 2012.
World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
This theme for this year’s World Environment Day is the ‘Green Economy' something the UN describes as “an economy that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.”
Varma, a senior World Bank official who has, for over 30 years, focused on complex urban policy issue such as enhanced sustainability of infrastructure growth says this concept of a ‘green economy’ or of ‘green growth’ directly impacts the fate of tigers in the wild.
“Urbanization is taking place at a very fast pace in Asia,” says Varma. “There will be almost 1.2 billion people who will be moving into cities in Asia including South Asia and East Asia. This means the ecological impact from the number of construction areas is expanding, and if these construction areas are not based on any kind of ‘green growth’ or biodiversity–friendly principles, it is going to be a major challenge for tigers in the tiger economies.”
In his interview with 'a Tiger Journal.com' Varma cites two other major concerns for tigers in the wild besides the habitat issue; poaching and a lack of ‘understanding’ of the real crisis tigers face.
“Poachers are more active, they’re better equipped and I don’t think the countries are equipped or coordinated enough yet to fight this problem,” says Varma. “So that is another major issue.”
“Though I can’t say there should be ‘shoot at site’ as in Tadoba in Maharashtra, we have to give them a taste of their own medicine by fighting fire with fire,” says Varma. “Unscrupulous gangs and mafia can’t be allowed to irretrievably wipe out the precious natural heritage of a country.”
However Varma says solving the poaching problem, or the habitat problem, or any of the other problems tigers face, will not happen until there is an ‘understanding’ of the crisis. Something Varma says is currently lacking in Asia.
“I don’t think the crisis is clearly understood by the common people or by leaders. I don’t think they know what the crisis means in terms of sustainability,” says Varma. “Because leadership in Asia -for the most part- does not visit these areas, there is little understanding of the value of wilderness and wildlife.
Varma says this is also true with the new generation as well, who are spending more time in the cities, and in front of computers, and not exploring nature.
“This is a culture and value problem,” says Varma. “And this is a problem, now and for the future of tigers and all wildlife.”
For Keshav Vama’s complete interview go to a Tiger Journal
‘a Tiger Journal’ was created by Endangered Species Journalist Craig Kasnoff in an effort to promote the plight of endangered tigers and the ways to save them from extinction.
For more information about tigers go to Tigers In Crisis.com