MKS Pasha*, Sue Stolton** & Mike Baltzer****CA|TS Manager, WWF Tigers Alive Initiative, Selangor, Malaysia**
Equilibrium Research, Bristol, UK***Leader, WWF Tigers Alive Initiative, Selangor, Malaysia
Conservation Assured (CA|TS) is a new conservation tool to set minimum standards for effective management of target species and to encourage assessment of these standards in relevant conservation / protected areas. The first species-specific CA standards are for the tiger (Panthera tigris). At present, few protected areas are truly effective refuges for tigers and this has contributed to a catastrophic decline in their numbers over the last decade, despite major investments in their conservation.
CA|TS aims to be a key element in realizing the ambitious goal of doubling the global tiger population by 2022; a commitment made by all 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRC). Developed by WWF and partners, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) has endorsed CA|TS and has requested member countries to establish National Review Committees for purpose of initiating CA|TS. Nepal is the first TRC to implement the process; Bhutan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and India are following Nepal’s lead.
CA|TS is an important tool in the achievement of the CBD’s Global Aichi Targets, in particular Aichi Target 11 and 12, and contributes to the implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas, particularly the last goal related to Standards, Assessment and Monitoring.
The CA|TS team has been working closely with IUCN’s GLPA Management Team with a view to building on the GLPA Standard to add those elements needed to judge whether a PA with tigers does not simply meet the GLPA Standard, but additionally is implementing the measures needed to secure the future of its tiger population. The aim is to avoid having to duplicate the assessment of protected area management, and to contribute to the building of one global GLPA Standard. A pilot collaboration between CA|TS and the IUCN GLPA in Nepal will explore how to best align efforts.
Thus CA|TS is a management tool which sets basic criteria (e.g. minimum standards) for effective management of tiger conservation reserves or other conservation reserves and protected areas which have tiger populations. CA|TS is based on a set of seven pillars with 17 minimum standards and associated criteria for effective management. CA|TS addresses multiple factors which impact conservation management, including support for resident human populations (including their social, cultural, spiritual and economic needs), enhancing overall biodiversity richness, prey-base and habitat cover, and also considers the legal context of an area in terms of content, application and capacity of those on the ground to enforce those laws.