OREANDA-NEWS. A special fund has been created to protect Siberian tigers on Vladimir Putin’s initiative. Presidential Aide and Chief of the Presidential Control Directorate Konstantin Chuychenko was appointed chairman of its board of directors.

The fund’s primary objectives are to study, preserve and increase the Siberian tiger population. In terms of legal status, this will be an autonomous NGO called The Siberian Tiger Centre. It was founded by the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), which traditionally takes an active role in many projects to preserve endangered species.

The organisation’s activities are to be financed by attracting extra-budgetary resources, including RGS grants.

The Siberian Tiger Centre has been created to fulfil the commitments taken on by Russia following the first International Tiger Conservation Forum, known as the Tiger Summit. The forum was held in St Petersburg in 2010 on Russia’s initiative. Following the summit, the 13 countries with tiger habitats set the goal of doubling the number of tigers in the wild within 12 years, and to eliminate and prevent threat factors for tiger conservation and restoration of tiger populations.

To reach these objectives, the President has also signed a law introducing harsher liability for killing and trafficking endangered species. Now, these actions will invariably be tried as criminal offences.

July 29 marks International Tiger Day, established in the St Petersburg declaration issued following the Tiger Summit.