WildTeam has been chosen as the lead partner for USAID’s Bengal Tiger Conservation Activity, which will be known as USAID’s Bagh Project. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the objective of this project is to conserve Bangladesh’s rich biodiversity through protection of charismatic wildlife, specifically the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Smithsonian Institution (SI) and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) will partner with WildTeam to implement this exciting project. The project will start in early 2014.
Since 1971, the American people through USAID have provided more than $6 billion in many assistance projects that support Bangladesh’s health and education, democratic institutions, social sector, economic growth, food security, and disaster management.
Through USAID’s Bagh Project, approximately $13 million will be channeled towards tiger conservation. In the four year duration of the project, Bagh project aims to build a brighter future for wild tigers and the local communities who rely upon their forest home - the Sundarbans. Bagh will do this by expanding the knowledge base for wildlife conservation; reducing illegal wildlife trafficking; minimizing human-wildlife conflict; enhancing communications, outreach, and gender engagement; and improving livelihoods for conservation. By building the capacity of Bangladeshi organizations, Bagh will also unlock the incredible talent and energy that the Bangladeshi people have to offer to support the country in facing its large-scale environmental and development challenges. Multiple stakeholders including the Government of Bangladesh, local communities, NGOs, international organizations, and the private sector will be directly involved in order to achieve the project goals.
Statement from WildTeam CEO
Dr. Md. Anwarul Islam, WildTeam’s CEO and a Professor of Zoology at the University of Dhaka, said “USAID’s Bagh Project is the biggest project to date dedicated solely towards the protection of the majestic Bengal tigers. WildTeam is honoured to have this wonderful opportunity to build upon our existing tiger conservation activities through USAID’s Bagh Project.”