Unleash the Tiger

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    Happy New Lunar Year, everyone! Having spent many of my (re)formative years in the Middle Kingdom, I’ll admit, I still think of the joyous holiday that a quarter of the world’s population celebrated this week as Chinese New Year, or simply CNY. As I have been made aware that this term might not be sufficiently inclusive[1], however, I’ll try to refer to it in different ways from now on. After all, who wants to be cancelled over such a trivial faux pas when there are plenty of other, worthier controversies to get involved in?

    Whichever way you choose to dub the holiday itself, let us at least agree that we have now entered the year of the Tiger. And that is rather fortunate, as most of us have just about had enough of the hard-working, patient, and persevering Ox year. Bring on that fierce, feline energy instead! The Tiger is commonly associated with bravery, courage, and strength, encouraging bold action and radical independence. Perhaps, spiced with a tad of arrogance and egoism, but who cares. We welcome the change anyway.

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    And just in case you lack my enthusiasm to celebrate the auspicious shift in cosmic energy, there is other concrete tiger-related news to rejoice in, courtesy of WWF (the World Wildlife Fund). You might associate the beloved animal-protection warriors mostly with those cute and fluffy pandas, but they seem to be making quite remarkable progress when it comes to preserving tigers as well.

    A timely report, just released by WWF, Impact on Tiger Recovery 2010-2022, summarises more than a decade of conservation efforts without forgetting to point out the unrelenting challenges for the future of the iconic big cat. 2010, the previous year of the Tiger, saw the formation of the Global Tiger Initiative and the first-ever international meeting for tiger conservation, the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. It would appear that it also marked a clear turning point in the history of tiger conservation.

    Bring out the drumrolls now to celebrate this incredible and hard-earned conservation success: the number of tigers worldwide has doubled since 2012! There are other happy facts to highlight, too, such as establishing the world’s largest tiger protected area in China, a national park in Russia, Land of the Leopard, and Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park. Also, hard-working conservationists can now enlist the help of the Spatial Monitoring and Report Tool (SMART).

    But let us not get carried away by that tiger arrogance now. “These gains are fragile and have not been uniform across Asia’s subregions with perilous declines in Malaysia and tigers now likely extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam,” reminds the report. “While the global estimate for wild tigers may be on the rise, their range has continued to decline, and tigers today are restricted to less than 5 per cent of their historic range.”

    Here’s to a healthy and prosperous new year, for us and all the remaining tigers!

    Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

    [1] Over 2 billion celebrate the lunar new year in some way. It is a public holiday in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, North Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Brunei. More and more Western cities celebrate this festival in recent years, like New York, London, Vancouver, Barcelona, and Sydney.

    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia has accumulated experience in asset management for more than 20 years in Stockholm and Beijing, in portfolio management, asset allocation, fund selection and risk management. In December 2020, she completed a program in Sustainability Studies at the University of Linköping. Julia speaks Mandarin, Bulgarian, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, Urdu and English. She holds a Master in Indology from Sofia University and has completed studies in Economics at both Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.
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