STATUTES & REGULATIONS -
The tiger, throughout its range on this planet, is facing serious problems and is endangered. With it is threatened the habitats of rich bio-diversity, which are vital for maintaining ecological security and life support systems as well as for providing sustenance to local communities. Much has been done towards conservation of the tiger in all the range states, but much more remains to be done, if the tiger is to survive.
It shall be our collective endeavour to ensure the survival of the tiger and its prey base now and in the future, along with its habitat that contains a broad spectrum of bio-diversity, and thus support to continuance of the life chain in these rich areas.
A Global Tiger Forum is therefore established with members from the willing countries who have tiger populations so that, through regular exchange of information and experience, the status of the tiger can be closely monitored and its future duly safeguarded.
It is recognised that a wide range of skills and experience relevant to the preservation of tiger exists both within the Government and Non-Government sectors. The Global Tiger Forum shall seek to mobilise all available expertise to preserve the tiger and its habitat.
In view of the present endangered status of tiger, there is no scope for its sustainable use.
CHAPTER – I
The Global Tiger Forum shall have as its goal;
to highlight the rationale for tiger preservation and provide leadership and common approach throughout the world in order to safeguard the survival of the tiger, its prey and its habitat.
To attain this goal, the Global Tiger Forum shall have the following objectives:
to promote a worldwide campaign to save the tiger, its prey and its habitat;
to promote a legal framework in the countries involved for biodiversity conservation;
to increase the protected area network of habitats of the tiger and facilitate their interpassages in the range countries;
to promote eco-development programmes with the participation of the communities living in and around protected areas;
to urge countries to enter into relevant conventions for conservation of tiger and elimination of illegal trade;
to promote and carry out scientific research to generate informations useful for tiger, its prey and its habitat to disseminate such information in an easily accessible manner;
to promote the development and exchange among themselves, of appropriate technologies and training programmes for scientific wildlife management;
to encourage range countries to prepare and implement their individual Action Plans for protection and growth of the tiger population and its prey base, improvement of the habitat and common preservation programme can be taken up bilaterally by the range countries having adjoining habitats, but their implementation should be carried out separately by the respective range countries.
to involve inter-governmental organisations in the protection of the tiger;
to set up a participative fund of an appropriate size to engender awareness in all places where people consume tiger derivatives for eliminating such consumption of tiger products, and identifying substitutes, in the interests of conservation.
CHAPTER - II
The Members of Global Tiger Forum shall be :
Category A : All Tiger Range Countries, viz – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam.
Category B : Non Tiger Range Countries willing to support and/or participate in tiger conservation programmes.
Category C : International and Inter-Governmental organisations who have made significant contribution towards tiger conservation.
Category D: Honorary individual members.
Category E: National NGOs
Category F: Associate members. Non-tiger range countries contributing grants or donation of atleast double the membership fee fixed for Category B members.
Country members shall be States which are members of the United Nations or any of its specialised agencies, or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or parties to the Statutes of the International Court of justice and political and/or economic integration organisations of States that have notified the Secretary General of Global Tiger Forum of their adherence to its Statutes.
International NGOs and Inter-Governmental organisation members shall be institutions and associations admitted to the Forum in accordance with the following conditions:
The institution or organisation must have as members properly constituted organisations (including States and Government agencies) or individuals, or a combination of organisations and individuals with defined rules governing the admission of such members, and must include members from at least three two states.
The institution or organisation must have a substantial record of activities in the field of conservation of nature and natural resources.
In the case of a organisation consisting of organisational members, the organisation must be functioning atleast two tiger range states, and must have not less than five members.
National NGOs from any tiger range country and non-tiger range country may be inducted as members of GTF with an annual membership fee of US$500 and US$1000 respectively.
4. The General Assembly of Global Tiger Forum may confer honorary membership on any individual who have rendered or is rendering outstanding service in the field of conservation of the tiger and its habitat. However, induction of new members shall be made presently as per the decision taken at the 4th General Assembly.
5. The norm for induction of national NGOs as members shall be as follows:
(a) The organization should have intimate knowledge and proven track records in tiger conservation and related issues for a period of not less than five years.
(b) The organization should active to galvanise effective and credible long term action and support for tiger conservation and related issues.
(c) Perusal of endorsement from authorized representative of national government and GTF Secretariat regarding the performance and activities of the organization.
(d) To start with, only National NGOs of tiger range countries would be inducted as members with an annual membership fee of US$500.
(e) To start with, the quota proposal for National NGOs shall be:
(i) Maximum of 10 National NGOs from each tiger range countries falling under Category A
(i) bigger tiger range countries viz. India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia and China.
(ii) Maximum of 5 National NGOs each from tier range countries falling under Category A (ii) smaller tiger range countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea and Vietnam.
(iii) No limit of membership of National NGOs from non-tiger range countries.
(f) National NGOs will have no voting right.
The Category F membership shall be governed by the following norms:-
a. A non-tiger range country shall be able to become an associate member of the Global Tiger Forum on payment of an annual donation or grant of atleast double the annual membership fee fixed for Category B members.
b. Should the contribution cease or decrease, falling short of the yardstick mentioned in sub-item (a), then the membership would be reviewed.
c. While being an associate member, the country will enjoy all the privileges that a member enjoys.
d. In the event the country wishes to revert to a normal membership fee structure and the fee of Category B is paid, the membership should be converted from an associate member (Category F) to a non-tiger range country member (Category B).
Admission of Governmental agencies, Non-Governmental, Inter-Governmental organisations and honorary individual members shall require decisions by two third majority of the General Assembly of the Forum. The General Assembly may also by two-third majority [withdraw][rescind] or suspend the membership or specific membership right of any member which seriously or persistently violates the provisions of these statutes.
Membership dues for any year become due and payable on the first day of that calendar year. Any member whose subscriptions are two years or more in arrears shall not be able to exercise voting rights in the Forum.
Any member may withdraw from membership of the Global Tiger Forum at any time by giving notice in writing to the Secretary General to that effect, which shall be effective only after expiry of six months of the date of serving the notice to the Forum. The member withdrawing shall not be entitled to any refund of membership dues paid.
If a former member seeks readmission to membership, it has to explain the reasons for its defaults and clear all membership dues outstanding at the time the General Assembly rescinded membership rights before the member is readmitted. Applications for the admission shall be treated in the same way as new requests for membership.
The current authentic text of these Statutes and Regulations shall be held by the Global Tiger Forum Secretariat. The Secretariat shall transmit copies of the Statutes and Regulations, as may be amended from time to time, to each member. Certified Copies shall be transmitted to the country members through diplomatic channels.
Only Members in Category – A shall have three votes. Category-B and Category-C shall have one vote each.
The General Assembly
The General Assembly, the highest policy organ of the Global Tiger Forum, shall consist of the duly accredited delegates of the members of Global Tiger Forum meeting in session.
The Functions of the General Assembly shall be:
i. to elect the Chairperson of the Global Tiger Forum;
ii. The term of the Chairperson would be three years;
iii. to set strategic direction and policy of the Global Tiger Forum;
iv. high-level decision making on critical issues affecting tiger conservation in member countries;
v. to determine the general policy of the Global Tiger Forum;
vi. to determine the organisation of its work and procedures including that of the Secretariat;
vii. to make recommendations to Governments and national and international organisations on any matter related to the objectives of the Global Tiger Forum;
viii. to determine the dues of members;
ix. to approve the work programme estimates of income and expenditure for the next three years and the auditors’ report on the accounts of Global Tiger Forum for previous three years; and
x. to perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by these statutes.
The General Assembly shall meet once in three years in ordinary session.
An extraordinary session of the General Assembly shall be convened if requested by at least one-third of the members of Category-A.
The Forum shall, after considering suggestions of members, determine the time and location of each ordinary and extraordinary session of the General Assembly. Locations shall, as far as practicable, be rotated among the several geographical regions. The decisions of the Forum as to time and location shall be communicated to the members of Global Tiger Forum by the Secretary General, with a tentative Agenda, at least two months in advance of each session.
The chairperson of the Global tiger Forum shall take the Chair at sessions of the General Assembly.
The General Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
With regard to the submission of a resolution for the consideration of the General Assembly of Global Tiger Forum, the following procedure shall apply :
Any member of Global Tiger Forum (GTF) may propose a resolution for consideration at the General Assembly of GTF. A member shall communicate the complete text of a proposed resolution to the Secretariat to arrive not later than 90 days before the date on which the General Assembly is scheduled to convene.
The Secretariat shall, within 15 days of receipt of a proposed resolution, communicate the text to the members of GTF for their comment.
Should a member of the GTF comment upon a proposed resolution and wish to have those comments included alongside the resolution at the General Assembly they are required to transmit their comments to the Secretariat to arrive not later than 45 days before the date on which the General Assembly is scheduled to convene.
The Secretariat shall prepare the resolution, including with it eligible comments on proposals received from the members of GTF, and schedule items for consideration at the next General Assembly of the GTF.”
In exceptional case the General Assembly may allow minor amendment proposal to be considered in terms of listed agenda, provided that the document is placed and distributed at least 24 hours before the slotted time of discussion of such agenda and that it does not dislodge the time schedule of the Assembly.
The Standing Committee
The Standing Committee shall have a Chairman and the Chairman of the Standing Committee shall be a senior knowledgeable person from the Government of the country which is elected as Chairperson of GTF in the meeting of the General Assembly. The name of the actual incumbent who shall function as the Chairman of the Standing Committee shall be left to the discretion of Chairperson of GTF.
The Standing Committee shall comprise of four members of Category-A, two members from Category-B and one member from Category-C. The representative of each category shall be elected by a simple vote of the members of the respective categories.
The term of the Standing Committee shall be for a period of three years and shall meet at least once a year.
The Standing Committee shall be responsible to the Global Tiger Forum acting on its behalf for the effective implementation of the strategy of the Forum. It shall be helped by a Secretariat to be located in one of the tiger range countries. This location is to be New Delhi, India, until such time as Parties decide a different location
The Standing Committee shall make initial selection of an officer as per the provision of the recruitment rules as the Secretary General and recommend a panel/person to the Chairperson of the Forum for taking decision on his appointment.
The Standing Committee shall recommend and review membership of other Committees
The term of the Secretary General shall be for a period of three years
The Secretary General shall also be responsible for the finances and accounting of Global Tiger Forum, and shall report to the Standing Committee/General Assembly on this.
The Secretary General shall be a citizen of a range country and shall be assisted by a Secretariat.
The Secretary General may be present without power to vote at the meetings of the General Assembly and shall be entitled to speak.
The Professional/Technical staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Secretary General with the approval of the Standing Committee.
For remaining staff, the Secretary General shall be the appointing authority who shall take action in accordance with the staff rules framed by the Forum and approved by the General Assembly. The staff shall be selected on as wide a geographical basis as possible, and there shall be no discrimination based on race, sex or creed. The recruitment shall be made by circulating the requirements of the posts to all tiger range countries and placing it in the web site. The tenure of appointment shall be for atleast one year.
In the performance of their duties, the Secretary General and the staff, shall not seek or receive instructions from any authority external to the Global Tiger Forum. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their position as staff members of an international organisation. Each member of the Forum shall respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary General and the staff and not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The Secretary General shall submit to the Forum, each year, a report on the activities of the Global Tiger Forum during the previous year, together with an account of the receipts and expenditure and a balance sheet as at the end of the year. When approved by the Forum, this report shall be sent to the members.
The Secretary General shall prepare for presentation to each ordinary session of the General Assembly, a report on the work of the Global Tiger Forum since the last General Assembly. The report shall be submitted by the Secretary General to the Forum and presented to the General Assembly with such comments as the Forum may decide to take.
The GTF Secretariat shall:
Providing coordination and administrative support for GTF
Communicating progress on implementation of strategy and other key issues to GTF Standing Committee on a regular basis
Assist SC in monitoring implementation
Managing database and website for information sharing on GTF and tiger issues across TRCs
Acting as the focal point for information flow and communication between different GTF bodies
. Managing finances and budgets of GTF
Coordinating and collating national action plans and other information from national focal points
GTF Technical Advisory Committee
(National and international experts on tiger biology, landscape ecology, protection, trade, community engagement, infrastructure, information)
Term of members to be 3 years (staggered rotation)
Total no of members not to exceed 12
Maximum of two members per country
Maximum of two members per institution
Should function electronically as far as possible
i. Developing and updating status of tiger and its habitat across range states
ii. Providing technical inputs into development of GTF strategy
iii. Assisting with review of implementation of the strategy
iv. Assisting with implementation of strategy (e.g. capacity building)
v. Alerting GTF to emerging issues in tiger conservation
CHAPTER – VII
GTF National Core Group
(National focal point and in-country partners)
Country specific terms and conditions
i. Assisting with development, implementation and review of national actions within the GTF strategy
ii. Focal point for communicating with the GTF Secretariat
iii. Building national awareness and support for tiger conservation
iv. Other roles as relevant to the country
GTF Enabling Committee
(National and international NGOs, Donors, GTI, SAWEN, ASEAN-WEN, Corporates)
i. No specific terms and conditions
ii. Should function electronically as far as possible
iii. Could have a smaller representative core group to enable actions and report back
i. Assisting with fundraising for GTF (core and implementation of specific actions)
ii. Bringing in external perspectives and providing inputs into strategy and monitoring
iii. Assisting with communication and external profiling for GTF
iv. Upscaling advocacy for tigers among political leaders, corporations, and donors
The income of the Global Tiger Forum may be derived from :
a. membership dues of country members;
b. membership dues of other members;
c. grants, donations and payments in support of the Global Tiger Forum;
d. returns from investment and services; and
e. trust fund.
The annual membership fees shall be as follows:
Category – A Members
i. India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, China minimum of US$5,000.
ii. All other countries minimum of US$1,000.
Category – B Members
i. O.E.C.D. countries US$15,000.
ii. Non O.E.C.D. countries US$7,500.
Category – C Members
Category – E Members
i. NGOs of non-tiger range countries @US$1000
ii. NGOs of tiger range countries@US$500
Category –F Members
An annual donation or grant of atleast double the membership fee for Category B members.
The Secretary General shall submit to each ordinary session of the General Assembly for approval, a draft triennium programme and the estimates of income and expenditure for the next three year, with due regard to the guidelines of the General Assembly.
The Secretary General shall submit each year to the Forum for approval, an annual budget based on estimates of income and expenditure with due regard to the outline approved by the General Assembly; and shall keep the Accountant informed of unforeseen expenses and of significant variations from predicted income. The Secretary General shall, if necessary, submit, in agreement with the Accountant, amended budgets to the General Assembly.
The annual budget, which shall relate to the period of a calendar year shall be drafted in U.S. dollars, and shall present restricted and unrestricted income estimates which balance the proposed expenditure. The budget summary shall include assumptions on growth of programmes, staff, administrative costs and geographic presence.
The income estimates shall detail all categories of unrestricted and restricted income, of which the latter will be based on confirmed amounts with assumptions based on proposals under donor review and those planned for during the year. Unrestricted income shall be allocated on a priority basis servicing the institutional structure under the Statutes. Remaining funds shall be distributed on the basis of approved strategic programme need. From restricted income, in addition to the normal expenditures, a component for Global Tiger Forum management time shall be deducted.
The expenditure estimates shall, in addition to the requirements for the annual budget, present the contract costs related to project work by individual departments responsible for implementing the programme. Administrative costs, which are based on unrestricted income and overhead charges, shall be detailed by functional line item. Project expenditure, on the other hand, shall be identified in total, and by department, noting the sources of income as unrestricted income, restricted income or management time income from projects, so that the financial situation of each department, as well as a consolidated statement of Global Tiger Forum, is shown.
For the annual budget, the Secretary General may request the Forum to approve the designation of unrestricted funds for a special purpose, not foreseen in the triennium budget approved by the General Assembly.
The Secretary General shall cause true and accurate account to be kept of all funds received and expended by the Global Tiger Forum and shall be responsible for the control of all such income and expenditure in accordance with the approved budget.
For the purpose of the required control, separate unit of account shall be kept for each restricted grant and for each department and fund.
All transactions in other currencies shall be converted into U.S. dollars at the rate prevailing on the date of transaction.
The Secretary General shall ensure with the approval of the Standing Committee that there is proper authorisation for all transactions for the Global Tiger Forum’s worldwide activities and that all cash and physical assets are managed and inventoried properly.
The accounts of Global Tiger Forum shall be examined each year by the auditors appointed by the Secretary General who shall submit a written report to the Secretariat. The Secretariat shall examine the auditor’s report and make recommendations thereon to the Standing Committee. The Accountant and the Secretary General shall submit to each ordinary session of the General Assembly a consolidated report on the accounts of Global Tiger Forum for the three years, together with the auditors’ report for the relevant year.
The Secretary General and Accountant shall guarantee that the auditors have free access to all documentation and other information concerning the accounts and that there is no interference in their work.
The Secretary General shall have the power to accept grants, donations and other payments on behalf of Global Tiger Forum, subject to any instructions and guidelines by the Executive Committee/General Assembly.
The General Assembly shall adopt and may amend the Regulations. Amendments should be processed through the Standing Committee. The Regulations shall conform to the Statutes, and neither limit nor expand the powers of the members to exercise control on any other matter required by the Statutes or the authority conferred by the Statutes upon the Forum or the Secretary General.
Any regulation or amendment to a Regulation shall be communicated to the members as soon as possible after it is made.
A member may ask the Standing Committee to review a Regulation. A Regulation shall be considered by the General Assembly at the request of a voting member.
When such a request is addressed to the Standing Committee or to the General Assembly, it shall be considered at the next meeting of these bodies.
The Forum shall consider any amendment to these Statutes proposed by a member of Global Tiger Forum, provided that it is received by the Secretariat not less than thirty days prior to the regular meeting of the Standing Committee and is considered thereafter by the Forum in the next meeting. The member proposing such amendment shall be notified of the Forum’s decision. In the case of a favourable decision by the Forum, the procedure prescribed in paragraphs below shall apply.
The Standing Committee may propose amendments to these Statutes. Such proposal shall be communicated to the members of Global Tiger Forum by the Secretary General not less than four months prior to an ordinary or extraordinary session of the General Assembly.
The Secretary General shall communicate to the members any amendments to these Statutes proposed in a request subscribed to by three members in category-A, provided that such a proposal is received not less than six months prior to an ordinary or extraordinary session of the General Assembly. Such communication shall include the explanations of the authors of the proposals and any comments of the Forum.
Such a proposal, together with the explanations of the authors and any comments of the Forum, shall be communicated to the members of the Global Tiger Forum by the Secretary General not less than four months prior to the ordinary or extraordinary session of the General Assembly concerned.
Amendments proposed in accordance with paragraph 5 and 6 above shall be considered by the General Assembly and shall become effective immediately upon receiving two-thirds majority vote in a General Assembly.
Whenever the Statutes of Global Tiger Forum are amended, and the functions of various existing organs of Global Tiger Forum are affected, the existing organs shall carry out the new duties under the amended Statutes during any transition period occasioned by the amendments.
The existing organs shall take all measures within their power to speed up the process of transition and shall ensure that the transition period is kept to a minimum.
The Secretary General, with the agreement of the General Assembly may establish, in the name of Global Tiger Forum, appropriate working relations with governments and organistions, whether national or international, governmental, inter-governmental or non-governmental and shall report such actions to the members and to the following General Assembly.
Appropriate working relations with governments and organisations maintained by Global Tiger Forum shall be defined in written agreements.
An information bulletin/newsletter shall be published periodically in English as well as one or more of the national languages of Category-A member of the Global Tiger Forum and circulated to all members. It shall serve as a means of providing the members with information on the activities of Global Tiger Forum and on other aspects of the conservation of tiger. It shall be used as a means of promoting the objects of Global Tiger Forum.
The official work of the Global Tiger Forum shall be carried out in English.
Global Tiger Forum is an association which shall be established pursuant to relevant rules and regulations of the country in which the seat of the Secretariat is located.
The Secretary General, with the consent of the Forum has the authority to take the appropriate steps to obtain, in accordance with the laws of the country in which Global Tiger Forum is to undertake activities, such legal steps as may be necessary to carry out those activities.
CHAPTER - XII
Only the General Assembly may resolve to dissolve the Global Tiger Forum on the basis of a written motion to be sent to all the members at least three months before the submission of the resolution to the General Assembly. Adoption of this resolution requires a majority of three quarters of all the members of Category – A.
Upon dissolution, the assets of the Global Tiger Forum shall be apportioned as decided by the General Assembly in the motion of dissolution.
Operation of Statutes and Regulations
The Statutes shall come into force after they have been accepted and acceded to or ratified as the case may be, by at least five range countries.
The Mission Statement was read out by Shri Kamal Nath, Chairman of the Forum & the Minister of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
In pursuance of the Delhi declaration on Tiger conservation which stated, “ that poaching, particularly for consumption of the species and its products had endangered the tiger, its habitat and its food chain,” and the recommendation “that countries should enter into proper conventions for conservation of the species and elimination of illegal trade”; and
Aware that the tiger is endangered throughout its range and, in some states is perilously close to extinction;
Recognizing that the primary cause of this decline is the illegal killing of the tiger to meet the escalating demand for tiger products which fuels the illegal trade in tiger parts;
Recognizing that many range states have devoted substantial human and financial resources to protect tigers in their natural habitat, but that these efforts are being frustrated by the continuing demand from the consuming countries throughout the world.
The representatives of 11 of the range States namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, do hereby make a public statement, to voice their concern and focus the attention of the world community on the urgent need of measures for the survival of this magnificent species and resolve to set up a Global Tiger Forum, the statutes of which have been agreed upon by consensus, with the following objectives.
To promote a world wide campaign to save the tiger, its prey and its habitat;
To urge the international community to abandon use of tiger products and eliminate illegal trade in parts, and derivatives of tiger;
To increase the protected area network of habitats of tigers and the interlinking corridors in the range countries;
To promote a comprehensive legal framework and provide necessary financial and infrastructural capabilities for effective conservation of tiger;
To implement programmes of eco-development with full participation of local communities living in and around protected areas;
To promote appropriate programme for training, scientific research and awareness building and set-up suitable mechanisms for the implementation of field programme necessary to achieve effective conservation of the tiger;
To elicit support and help of the Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations and individuals for the protection of tiger, its prey and habitat, directed at a healthy build up of tiger population throughout the range countries;
To promote bilateral cooperation among range states for the conservation of tiger and its habitat.
And in pursuance of these :
Establish a participatory trust fund of a size sufficient to enable the programmes agreed to be implemented for the furtherance of the objectives of the Global Tiger Forum, and particularly to secure new and additional finance from the international community;
Call upon all range States to urgently prepare National Action Plan for Tiger Conservation.
The Valedictory session concluded with the concluding remarks by Mr. Dasho Palijore, Minister of Forests, Bhutan and Ms. Mona Bjorklund of UNEP. They expressed their happiness on the setting up of the Global Tiger Forum.