Leonardo DiCaprio, the man who danced his way into our hearts back in 1999 spent the week in St. Petersburg, Russia for the Tiger Summit. Not only does Leo have a star-studded resume, he also has an environmental conscience!
The Tiger Summit was an opportunity for heads of governments from tiger range states to finalize a Global Tiger Recovery Program.
Tigers have been around Asia for more than 100,000 years but in the last century there has been a severe decline in numbers. In fact, they are now considered an endangered species, particularly due to habitat loss, poaching, and over-hunting of prey (deer, wild pigs).
Because there are only 3,200 tigers left in Asia, if serious changes are not put into place, tigers are en route to become extinct by 2022. In accordance, the World Tiger Summit has a goal to eliminate tiger extinction in Asia by 2020.
13 Asian countries are involved and over $350 million USD will be invested to saving the tigers over a five-year Global Tiger Recovery Program. This program aims to battle deforestation and poaching. Leonardo DiCaprio has written up a hefty $1 million cheque towards this program, bringing a lot of media attention towards serious environmental issues.
2010 is the Chinese year of the Tiger. So, what better timing than now to implement programs that will help to double the number of wild tigers?!