Light up the Way Home Guard the Return of the King29 july 2019
On July 29, 2019, World Wide Fund For Nature Beijing Office, Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration, Feline Research Center of National Forestry and Grassland Administration and Guangdong Chimelong Flora and Fauna Conservation Foundation co-organised the celebration of the 9th Global Tiger Day with the theme “Light up the Way Home for Amur Tigers and Guard the Return of the King” in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. A series of publicity activities such as singing flash, children chorus and dialogue about conservation of the Amur tigers and leopards attracted people's attention to wild tigers, advised the general public of the progress of conservation initiatives, encouraged people to take part in conservation actions and transmitted conservation energy. Zhou Fei, WWF China CPO said: “Tigers and leopards conservation have a long road to go. It is necessary to enhance the awareness of the public. Everyone should change their environmentally-unfriendly behavior.”
On the day, WWF and its partners initiated the action to restore the habitat quality of Amur tigers in China, proposing to strengthen assessment of habitats, assessment of tigers & leopards corridors and capability development in the protected areas, which is of great significance to manage the habitats of Amur tigers and leopards, to secure the population of Amur tigers and leopards as well as to restore and build idea homes for Amur tigers and leopards. In the celebration, the sponsors also arranged a dialogue session with the theme “All participate to meet challenges", where multiple parties joined in the discussion about conservation of tigers and leopards. Zhang Shanning, deputy director general of the Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration, said: "We should strengthen the construction of habitat corridors and actively promote local communities to withdraw from tiger-unfriendly production and lifestyles." Liu Peiqi, Head of WWF NEC, said: "Tiger and leopard conservation is borderless, and WWF actively promotes cross-border protection and public participation."
The event also presented the latest achievements in the conservation of wild tigers and leopards to the public in various forms to appeal to the public to pay attention to tigers and leopards protection and participate in the protection actions. Rangers performed the stage play Living Together in the Blue Sky with the theme of anti-poaching, which vividly demonstrated the process of transformation from a hunter to a ranger; volunteers sang the songs Dearest Tiger and Song of Rangers, expressing their solemn commitment to tiger protection; the children sang Painting Tigers in their pure voice to the video of the national contest of painting tigers, calling for the protection power from the whole country; and the unveiling of the sculpture Move Forward Together created by the artist for more than a month climaxed the event.
The 9th Global Tiger Day attracted nearly a thousand public and media participation on site. With the help of WWF star volunteers, it attracted more than 130 million public interaction online, which promoted the public to support and take part in the conservation of wild tigers and leopards. At the same time, it also demonstrated the results of the conservation of wild tigers and leopards in depth, transmitted the passion and vitality of wild Amur tigers and leopards conservation, significantly enhanced the awareness of conservation and participation of the general public, and boosted the harmonious coexistence between man and nature. The theme of lighting up the way home and guarding the return of the king is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
Over the past hundred years, due to serious habitat fragmentation, ungulate reduction and poaching, the number of Amur tigers has sharply declined. The number of wild tigers in the world has dropped from 100,000 to about 3,900, a decrease by about 97%. Today, there are only about 500 wild Amur tigers left in the whole world. In November 2010, the “International Forum on Tiger Conservation” held in St. Petersburg, Russia, designated July 29 as the “Global Tiger Day”. Governmental heads and representatives from 13 wild tiger range countries jointly issued the Declaration of Governmental Heads from Wild Tiger Range Countries, setting the target to double the number of wild tigers in 2022, the next Year of Tiger. Relevant conservation units in China have carried out the protection of wild tigers and leopards from the aspects of habitat restoration, corridor investigation, tiger & leopard population monitoring, anti-poaching, capability building of protected areas and rangers, and have made considerable achievements, i.e. the number of Amur tigers in China is on the rise, the annual growth rate of wild population is about 1.04% and it spreads to the inland China at the speed of 13.8km every three years; the number of tiger’s prey goes up, while the density of snares significantly falls.