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IEG review of 20 World Bank-funded projects in tiger landscapes (English)

Biodiversity is critical to maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and the ecological processes that support species and human well-being. The world is facing an unprecedented rate of species extinction: one in eight bird species, one in four mammals, and one in three amphibians are threatened. Species can recover with concerted conservation. As a charismatic endangered species, tigers have become a powerful symbol of biodiversity loss globally, as their numbers have dropped from 100,000 at the turn of the 20th century to an estimated 3,000-3,500 tigers in the wild today. The need to protect tigers has taken on great urgency, and international efforts are attempting to pull them back from the edge of extinction. From November 21 to 24, 2010, the Russian Federation hosted leaders from 13 tiger range countries at a conference in St. Petersburg. The goal was inter alia to eliminate illegal trade in tiger parts while protecting tiger habitats and to double the tiger population by 2022. The World Bank has provided strong leadership and support for the initiative. Biodiversity interventions can have potentially large co benefits: biodiversity conservation, climate change stabilization, food and water security, and poverty reduction. The World Bank has been the largest financier for biodiversity, with commitments of more than $2 billion over the last two decades and substantial leveraging of co financing. However, the number of new projects approved that contain biodiversity activities has dropped considerably since the mid-2000s. At present, the Bank is according importance to biodiversity by taking a leading role in strategic partnerships, such as the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), and the Save Our Species (SOS) program. By prioritizing such initiatives, the Bank aims to bring crucial attention and funding to ecosystem and biodiversity conservation. It is also crucial at the same time to integrate conservation in development projects in sectors such as infrastructure and rural development, which can have negative effects on biodiversity without adequate mitigating actions. This review has shown that as important as these targeted biodiversity efforts is the need for the Bank, countries, and partners to strengthen efforts to integrate biodiversity conservation into projects in sectors where they can have negative biodiversity impacts without mitigating actions, such as rural transport, watershed management, or integrated rural development.


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    Rees,Colin P., Worden, Richard Carlos

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    Working Paper (Numbered Series)

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    The World Region,

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    IEG review of 20 World Bank-funded projects in tiger landscapes

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Rees,Colin P. Worden, Richard Carlos

IEG review of 20 World Bank-funded projects in tiger landscapes (English). IEG evaluation brief Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.