Conservation successes around the world stem from the support and backing of people; both civil societies and communities.
- The villages and communities adjacent to where tigers will be reintroduced will be on the front line of tiger recovery. These communities will be the back bone for protection and will take ‘ownership’ of the solutions to tiger recovery in the long term. Local communities already have deep respect and knowledge of tigers through their traditions and cultural belief systems. If the positive links between tigers and local people can be developed and fostered, then coexistence can be assured. These could be through a variety of means, such as; ecotourism revenues, job creation stemming from tourism development, “tiger friendly” certified local produce or access to safer working conditions on plantations. It is crucially important that local communities are actively involved in consultations, decision making and strategy development from the very beginning of the tiger reintroduction process.
- Reintroducing tigers will involve a long term public education program that will continue well beyond the release of tigers. The Cambodian public must support the tigers’ existence in a similar way they do with the conservation of the Angkor era temples. This will involve the strengthening of local NGOs and supporting awareness raising efforts in the media and within schools.