World’s largest photo mosaic of tiger unveiled
The Hague, The Netherlands – A two-storey-high photo mosaic of a tiger, created from personal photos of nearly 25,000 tiger lovers worldwide, was unveiled here today to urge world leaders to end all trade in tigers.
The International Tiger Coalition, comprised of 35 organizations working to save wild tigers, including WWF, assembled the world’s largest photo mosaic of a tiger in front of the convention centre where hundreds of delegates are attending a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
“We think a mosaic made from photos of tiger fans is a powerful way to remind world governments that the eyes of the world are watching what happens at CITES,” said Dr Bivash Pandav, head of WWF’s international tiger programme.
“The fate of wild tigers is in the hands of governments around the globe. Tigers won’t survive without meaningful new commitments by governments to scale up law enforcement and protection.”
Wild tigers face an emerging threat from Chinese tiger farms, which now house nearly 5,000 captive-bred tigers. The farm owners are pressuring the Chinese government to lift its successful 14-year ban on domestic trade in tiger bones and products. The Chinese delegation to CITES distributed a position paper this week saying it was maintaining the ban for now, but listing the supposed benefits of trading products made from farmed tigers.
The International Tiger Coalition — an unprecedented alliance of environmental, zoo and animal protection organizations as well as the traditional Chinese medicine community — is calling on the Chinese government to reject the pending petition by tiger farm investors that seeks to overturn the country’s ban, close down the country’s numerous tiger farms, and destroy the stockpile of carcasses being stored on these farms so they cannot enter illegal trade. The coalition is also asking China to make its successful 14-year tiger-trade ban permanent.
Close to 25,000 people from at least 146 countries have submitted their photos online to create the International Tiger Coalition’s photo mosaic. Of the 146 countries represented on the mosaic, 142 are members of CITES. Additionally, 32,000 signatures have been collected for a message of appreciation to China, urging the country to keep in place its successful ban on domestic tiger trade.
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