Story | 07 Jun, 2022

German Development Cooperation provides an additional €12.5 million in funding for IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme

With this additional funding, German Development Cooperation and the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) have contributed a total of €47.5 million for tiger conservation in Asian countries since its inception in 2014. This new contract between IUCN and KfW also guarantees that that the programme will now run until 2027.

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have provided further resources to IUCN’s Tiger Programme, with the signing of a €12.5 million contract between IUCN and the German Development Bank KfW.

Divided into different phases, the ITHCP contributes to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme endorsed in St Petersburg in 2010, which aims to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022. The programme’s brand-new Phase Four will fund projects that aim to protect tigers but also other Pantherine species, in particular leopards and clouded leopards, a first for the Tiger Programme. Unlike previous phases, Phase Four will also fund projects in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Projects will be selected through a new Call for Proposals launching in the coming months.

“This new funding will allow us to establish more complex conservation strategies in the region, and we are extremely grateful that we get to continue the work for another five years”, said Ana Nieto, Head of the Species Conservation Action team at IUCN. “The results from the first phase of the ITHCP show that our efforts are paying off, and that we are having a positive and verifiable impact on Species, Habitats and People in the region. With this additional funding, it is our hope that the programme will continue to have an even greater impact.”

Nina Otto, Project Manager at KfW Development Bank, said “We are really pleased to extend our collaboration with IUCN as part of the fourth phase of the ITHCP. With this new phase, we are seeking to also address other Pantherine species given their close co-existence with tigers in a number of tiger range countries.”

All ITHCP projects operate in the interface between species protection and monitoring, improved habitat and protected area management. These projects also work with local communities to help them improve livelihoods and provide sustainable alternatives to forest resources.

So far, the first phase of the programme, which covered 4.5% of the global habitat that still exists for wild tigers, has created an average increase of tiger populations within project sites by 40% between 2015 and 2021, growing from approximately 770 individuals to 966. During this period, it is also estimated that the programme directly affected 81,778 beneficiaries.

Second and Third Phase projects have already started. Their aim is to geographically and thematically complement the portfolio to ensure that the programme continues working to secure key habitats from which tigers can disperse. Furthermore, their goal is to also ensure that movements are facilitated through well-maintained corridors, and to continue to work with local communities to reduce human wildlife conflicts.

IUCN is immensely grateful to the German Cooperation for this renewed commitment to save tigers and wild habitats in Asia.