The Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP, 2010) and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP, 2013) unite 20 governments and their partners in high-profile collective action to conserve these apex predators and their landscapes in Asia. These initiatives are based on political declarations (The St. Petersburg Declarations on Tiger Conservation and The Bishkek Declarations on Snow leopard) which are being implemented through long-term programs (Global Tiger Recovery Program and Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program). Both programs are implemented by range country governments and coordinated by respective program secretariats.
Following the World Bank announcement in September, 2014, that it would not support the GTI Secretariat after June 30,2015, governments of range countries agreed for transition of the program management functions from the World Bank to the Global Tiger Initiative Council chaired by the former World Bank President Mr. Robert Zoellick. GTIC was recreated with two arms for implementation- Global Tiger Forum (GTF) for tigers, in Delhi, and Global Snow Leopard Environmental Plan (GSLEP) for snow leopards at Bishkek. The implementation mechanisms defined under the St. Petersburg Declaration and the Bishkek Declaration will remain the guiding forces, for they have been agreed upon by all countries through several rounds of discussions.
Both programs report challenges in coordinating and financing the Global Support Components/Programs1 that transcend across international borders. Key roles of the GTI Council may include but not be limited to:
- Generating Political will and advocating for conservation;
- Coordinating global support to the programs;
- Mobilizing resources;
- Enabling convergence and connectivity;
- Building alliances, publicity and
All activities on the ground for species conservation will take place within sovereign range countries, via their decision making; the Steering Committee of the GSLEP and the group of Ministers of GTRP will serve as guiding and supporting bodies; and the GTIC will help by bringing in convergence and unity of action on conservation issues. It will help connect the two programs with other countries, institutions and agencies where they don’t converge naturally, or are in need of greater support to bring global knowledge to local practice.
The GTI Council architecture has been developed on demand and full consensus of the range countries. The GTI Council is currently operating from three cities, i.e. Washington DC, New Delhi (GTF secretariat) and Bishkek (GSLEP secretariat). Mr. Keshav Varma is officially working as the CEO and Executive Director of the Council.