VIETNAM — The number of wild tigers has dwindled from 100,000 a hundred years ago to an estimated 3,200 today. Panthera, a global conservation group, wants to change that with a "tiger royalty."
The idea is simple: Tigers have inspired some of the world’s best-known brands and consumer products from "diapers to sneakers to handbags." As such, tigers should benefit from the use of their iconic image. The tiger royalty is an "artistic rights fee for tigers."
Companies that join the program agree to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their tiger-inspired products to fund Panthera’s Tigers Forever program. The initiative aims to rebuild wild tiger populations by at least 50% over a 10-year period in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand.
"It’s no surprise that people are fascinated by tigers," said Alan Rabinowitz, CEO of Panthera (and one of the world’s leading tiger conservation experts). "Their beauty, strength and charisma are humbling; it makes you realize how such magnificent creatures make our Earth a truly special place. The further loss of this species in the wild places our own survival at risk. We are looking forward to working with brands around the world who want to link the extraordinary selling power of tiger imagery with the preservation of real tigers in the wild. This wonderful idea comes at a critical moment for the future of tigers, and, frankly, not a moment too soon.
According to Alan Cerutti, CEO of Happiness Saigon, "Tiger Royalty is a simple, clever platform that enables brands inspired by wild cats to meaningfully support their conservation. Today it's tigers. Tomorrow it can be leopards, or lions, or other big cats that desperately need funding to preserve their wild populations. That’s why we are thrilled to be bringing this idea to life with Panthera, an organization that is truly making a difference in the future of wild cats on this planet.
This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.