Tuesday, June 10, 2008

World Bank to Save the Tigers?

Isn't this a bit outside of their mission?

From Reuters UK:

A World Bank report warned that "if current trends persist, tigers are likely to be the first species of large predator to vanish in historic times."

"Just as with many other challenges of sustainability, such as climate change, pandemic disease, or poverty, the crisis facing tigers overwhelms local capabilities and it is one that transcends local borders," Zoellick said.

"This is a problem that cannot be handled by individual nations alone, it requires an alliance of strong local commitment backed by deep international support," he added.

Zoellick said the World Bank would convene a series of discussions with countries, conservationists and the private sector to mobilize funding for tiger conservation, and launch studies on how better to protect the cats.

The World Bank chief said there were examples of where tigers had been brought back from the brink of extinction, such as in Russia and Nepal, but added that saving the world tiger population would not be an easy task.

"All those concerned may not agree but this does not mean we should stand on the sidelines and do nothing," he said.

Personally this seems like an effort outside of the World Banks expertise. Don't get me wrong, seeing tigers become extinct would be a travesty. But is the world bank the best organization to spearhead the charge for their recovery? I'd rather see the World Bank give a grant to the World Wildlife Fund rather than try to do it themselves. After all the WWF has a lot of experience in this area. I do however their efforts pay off. After all a world with tigers is cooler than a world without.