Jakarta, Indonesia – On July 16th, 2014, Panthera, the world’s leading wild cat conservation organization, at their annual Tigers Forever meeting, recognized notable successes from numerous partners across tiger range in the fight to save wild tigers. Long-term conservation efforts in Indonesia to protect the endangered Sumatran tiger were celebrated, specifically those undertaken by the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation-Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, the Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, the provincial government of Lampung, and the National Council on Climate Change.
Held in Jakarta, Panthera’s CEO and world-renowned tiger scientist, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, led the awards ceremony congratulating Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation for the organization’s long-term commitment to anti-poaching efforts. Preliminary data released last year indicated this site had the highest density of tigers ever recorded for the island of Sumatra, making it a shining example of successful tiger conservation from not just Sumatra, but from across the tiger’s entire range.
Also recognized were the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry represented by Dr. Zulkifli Hasan, Dr. Balthasar Kambuaya of the Ministry of Environment, the provincial government of Lampung, and Prof Ir. Rachmat Witoelar, Executive Chairman of the National Council on Climate Change for their commitment, political engagement and enactment of conservation-minded legislation.
Dr. Rabinowitz stated, “Tonight we shine a spotlight on the efforts of many who are on the frontlines protecting tigers across Asia, with a special focus on what’s happening here in Indonesia, in Sumatra. The efforts of the Government of Indonesia, Artha Graha Peduli Foundation, and rangers and conservationists working in Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, serve as a remarkable example of what can be achieved for tigers if there are sufficient resources, political will, and long-term commitment to ensuring that the key threats to tigers are stopped.”
The Founder of Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, Mr. Tomy Winata, stated, “The tiger conservation success that we see in Tambling is the result of many highly committed people who have worked tirelessly with us over the years. I would like to specifically acknowledge the continuous support of the Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, the provincial government of Lampung, and the National Council on Climate Change. In coordination with our patrols, the scientific training and monitoring with our partners at Panthera, and the government support for Tambling’s tigers and the wider landscape of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, all of this is allowing Tambling to fulfill its conservation potential, offering tigers a refuge from the persecution these cats face in so many other parts of their range. This is an encouraging beginning for us all, and much more is yet to be done in protecting Indonesia’s wildlife.”
Active since 1996, Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation is a 450km2 privately managed concession in southern Sumatra. Today Tambling serves as a replicable model of success for tiger conservation in Indonesia and around the world due to its strict focus on training, outfitting and incentivizing law enforcement patrols and a zero tolerance policy towards poaching of tigers and their prey.
Acknowledging the critical commitment of Tambling’s law enforcement teams, the boots on the ground in protecting and growing Sumatra’s tigers, Dr. Rabinowitz closed the ceremony by presenting Tiger Conservation Award Certificates to Tambling’s outstanding rangers and congratulated them for their heroic efforts and for being true tiger conservation champions.
Along with poaching for the illegal wildlife market, tigers are largely threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with local communities, and overhunting of prey species. Now in its ninth year, Panthera’s Tigers Forever program is specifically mitigating and eliminating the most pressing threats to protect the most viable, breeding tiger populations providing long-term refuge for this highly endangered species. Today, with a razor-sharp focus on law enforcement, cutting-edge technology, and measuring and monitoring of conservation activities and tiger and prey populations, Tigers Forever serves as one of the greatest hopes for securing a future for wild tigers. In partnership with NGOs, local communities, and governments, Tigers Forever is being implemented in 14 sites across 6 countries in Asia, with the goal of increasing tiger numbers at key sites by at least 50% over a 10-year period.