Tigers, People, Ecosystems

Supported by the German Government, the German Development Bank (KfW) and IUCN launched the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) in 2014. ITHCP is a strategic funding mechanism which aims to save tigers in the wild, their habitats and to support human populations in key locations throughout Asia. The programme contributes to the international goal set up during the 2010 St- Petersburg Tiger Summit to double wild tiger populations by 2022 (up to 6’000 tigers), starting from a baseline global population of 3’200, which was the IUCN Red List population estimate at that time.

IUCN, the programme implementing agency, has so far issued two calls for proposals in October 2014 and in June 2015. Overall 94 concept notes were received from across the 9 tiger range countries eligible under this scheme, representing a total ask of nearly 170m EUR. The selection was therefore competitive and the ITHCP Secretariat (Jean-Christophe Vié, Sugoto Roy and Thomas Gelsi) relied on ten Advisory Committee members and a pool of 40 external experts for identifying, scoring and evaluating the projects with the best potential.

Grants proposed under the programme range from 700.000 to 2 million EUR allocated to consortia made of NGOs, Government Departments and local community organisations.

ITHCP has a current portfolio of 7 projects located within Tiger Conservation Landscapes (TCLs), which are areas universally considered as the most crucial for long term tiger conservation. So far 10.2 million EUR have been committed by IUCN-KfW for these sites.

These projects involve improving the management of tiger habitats, tackling human-tiger conflicts, increasing anti-poaching and law enforcement efforts and engaging and actively involving local communities in tiger conservation. An average 26 % of project funds is dedicated to infrastructural investments and 13 % of project budgets is to provide local communities with sustainable livelihoods, e.g. with clean energy sources, predator-proof protection systems and development of ecotourism ventures.

Most of these initiatives were built from concept notes and were given project preparation grants to strengthen partnerships and to carry out socio economic assessments and consultations with local communities, crucial aspect of the programme. In this regard ITHCP is testing the new system developed within IUCN, the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS). Many of the projects are landscape-scale, transboundary initiatives that involve cooperation between local communities, governments, local and international NGOs.

There is currently no open call for proposals and we do not accept rolling applications.
For ongoing applications, please click on the button below.


Link to ITHCP Online Portal


The foothills of the Himalayas

The Terai “low-lying land at the foot of the Himalayas”, stretching from Corbett NP in the West until Kaziranga NP in the East, throughout India, Nepal and Bhutan, is a focal area of the programme.

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Reisfelder im Western Terai, Nepal Bernhard Huber

The 49,500 km2 Terai Arc is a part of Terai which stretches for over 700 km along the southern boundary of Nepal and the sub-Himalayan region of North India. It supports an estimated 485 tigers.

In the west, Zoological Society of London (ZSL) works with others towards improving the management effectiveness of protected areas and focuses on five key sites, namely Nandaur Wildlife Sanctuary in India, Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Bardia and Banke National Parks and Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Nepal.

This adjoins a project being undertaken by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany, in collaboration with WWF Nepal and WWF India, targeting in particular the buffer zones of Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Nepal and the buffer zone and core area of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in India. Chitwan, a World Heritage site where tigers are thriving, will serve as a tiger source population from which dispersing individuals can colonize other sites to increase their tiger numbers.

Going east again, in Manas National Park (N.E India), IUCN is supporting the Indian NGO Aaranyak. This project works in tandem while another initiative, led by the Department of Forests and Park Services of the Government of Bhutan, is working in Royal Manas National Park.

The work in Terai should not only allow an increasing in tiger populations, but also protects key habitats that shelter amongst other species the Asian elephant and the greater one-horned rhinoceros.

In Myanmar, new opportunities are opening up

Myanmar, formerly Burma, slowly began opening up to international organisations after over 50 years of civil conflict and has great potential for tiger recovery. The National Tiger Action Plan highlights two priority areas for the conservation of the species, the Hukaung Valley in the north and the Tanintharyi division in the south. ITHCP is investing in both.

In the north, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is looking at creating a network of corridors to allow dispersion of tigers across the 35000 km2 wide transboundary landscape between Htamanti and Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuaries, with relatively few tigers and Kaziranga National Park in India, a World Heritage site which holds one of the highest tiger densities of the world.

In the south, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) works in the Tanintharyi Landscape to establish two new protected areas in an area with great scope for tiger recovery as the area borders a large contiguous tiger habitat with growing populations, in neighbouring Thailand.

(CC BY-SA 2.0) Rushen Neighbouring Kaeng Krachan National Park


Saving the Sumatran tiger

In Indonesia, where tiger populations are facing a declining trend, a consortium led by WWF Germany, in collaboration with WWF Indonesia, is working towards improving and strengthening the management of key sites within the Rimbang Baling Landscape, encompassing Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve, Bukit Batabuh Protection Forest and Bukit Bungkuk Nature Reserve, a key part of the Central Sumatra Tiger Conservation Landscape. The landscape is critical to the long-term survival of Sumatran tigers as it serves as both a tiger source site and a critical corridor for tiger movement across the region.