Benny Rebel has already been supporting the lasting protection of the flora and fauna for many years.
With the project “Men and Tiger” which he established himself, he supports the protection of the tiger and its habitat and also some information projects in India.
If we do not take any action now, there will be no more tigers soon
Tigers are the epitome of elegance, strength and majesty. Unfortunately their beauty has been their undoing. At the beginning of the 20th century more than 100.000 tigers were still alive in Asia.
Today less than 5.000 still remain worldwide. The traditional Chinese medicine is mainly the one to blame for the extinction of the tigers as many parts of the tiger´s body are used in it.
Tiger products are being used for the stimulation of potency, to combat laziness or for skin care.
The Chinese Mafia makes about 30 billion US dollars every year with the selling of poached tigers.
The persons pulling the strings take advantage of the poverty of the Indians and motivates the destitute people to do the poaching by offering them money.
It is high time we did something against the disappearance of the tigers, because if we do not take action now, there won´t be any more tigers very soon!
The urgency of the aid programme gave us the idea to establish the project “Men and Tiger “.
It is supposed to protect the tigers in India and, at the same time, show the people a way out of their poverty, so that there is no more need to nourish their families by poaching animals.
The situation of the tigers is dramatic. In India alone more than half of the tiger population have been killed between 2002 and 2005. Today, less than 1,500 tigers remain in India, although it had been more than 40,000 tigers, one hundred years ago. Accordingly, the story of their disappearance goes back far.
The hunting of the tigers was a famous sport for the Maharadjas and rich visitors from the industrial countries in the first half of the 20th century. As a result of this gruesome sport 95 % of India´s tiger population had been killed by the 60ies. At that time it came to light that these marvelous big cats were an endangered species.
Therefore the former minister-president, Indira Gandi, forbade the hunting of tigers in 1973.
The governments of other Asian countries did not react as prudently. As a result three sorts of tigers died out. We can never again admire the Bali Tiger ( it died out in 1940), the Caspic Tiger ( 1970) and the Java Tiger ( 1979). The population of south-Chinese, Malayan and Sumatra Tiger has also shrunk extremely and they will probably disappear very soon from our planet. Experts think that the Amur Tiger is also threatened by extinction .
In the meantime tigers are protected worldwide. The dramatic situation however shows that this is not sufficient. The big, majestic cats are still being killed by poachers. The Chinese mafia is one of the main clients. The smuggling of tiger furs is blooming- the value of one fur is between 10,000 and 50,000 US dollars. Whiskers, claws and sexual organs of the tigers are very popular in the traditional Asian medicine and are used as a potency remedy: One portion of tiger-penis soup costs up to 800 Dollars!
All together the mafia gains up to 400,000 dollars per tiger.
The poachers on the spot only receive the smallest part of the revenues.
A poacher in India, for example, receives only between 30 and 50 dollars for a dead animal.
Money-grabbing, illegal machinations and the ignorance of some people play a dominant role in the extinction of tigers. The main reason, however, is the bitter poverty of the people. They kill these wonderful animals to nourish their families. One possibility to eradicate this is through information and family planning. The reason for it is, the less children the parents have to nourish, the better the chances become for the whole family to escape the poverty trap.
How can the tigers be saved?
At present the value of a dead tiger is higher than the value of a living tiger. This has to be changed!
Tourism offers a realistic chance to accomplish this. The expansion of alternative travelling offers for animal lovers, who would like to watch the tigers in their natural habitat, could be an important economic stimulus with positive effects for the whole community. The tourism industry offers work and can save the subsistence for lots of people. And when people notice that they profit from the survival of the tigers they will automatically support their protection.
At the same time the situation of poor families can be improved by offering them the access to information and family planning: A lot of Indian women still expect more children than they originally ask for. On the other hand smaller families usually feel better as they can spend more for the well-being of every single child. This is also good for the education of the children- and to be well-educated is the most important precondition to escape the vicious circle of poverty.
At first “Men and Tiger” will concentrate on North India where most of the tigers live in the forests of different National Parks. With the local communities in place we will speak out in favor of the increase of park rangers. Furthermore, we will support the improvement of the training and the equipment of the rangers. Measures like that have already contributed to the saving of African elephants and rhinos.
The people on the spot play a decisive role in the protection of the tigers and their habitat.
We want to show them that a living tiger is more useful than a dead one in the long term, when they make a profit from the tigers in the tourism field. Furthermore, we want to show them that the tiger tourism has positive effects on the whole economic situation of the region. It offers work and raises the income standard.
Therefore “Men and Tiger” wants to support measures which improve the living conditions of India´s people in the long term. Together with other recognized organization we want to achieve the following aims:
- we want to support the construction of biogas plants for the reason that the inhabitants of the villages need no longer cut illegally the wood from the forests of the national parks and the habitat of tigers and other animals is protected
- a program to improve the information, the contraception and the family planning is going to be started: we want to offer regular consultations about family planning and furthermore we would like to offer the provision of medical care and contraceptives in the villages near the national parks. This means to inform the people about how they can protect themselves from HIV/ aids and unwanted pregnancies.
- So-called “nature clubs” are to be found in order to make the population aware of the protection of animals and nature. In these clubs children will be informed why it is so important to protect nature. At the same time they are going to be informed about pregnancy, birth and all questions of contraception.
At the end I would like to say thank you again to all my supporters and benevolent friends!