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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 17 March, 2023

  • 4 Min Read

International Big Cat Alliance

International Big Cat Alliance

  • The Indian Government has proposed to head a massive International Alliance to Safeguard Big Cats, and it has pledged support for the initiative over a five-year period with a financing commitment of USD $100 million (over Rs 800 crore).

About

  • The proposed International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) will aim to protect and conserve the seven main big cats, including the tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar, and cheetah.
  • The alliance will be open to membership for 97 "range" countries, which house the large cat species' original habitat, as well as other interested countries, international organisations, etc.
  • The coalition is scheduled to debut in India the following month, according to a suggested schedule.
  • The cooperation was "motivated by the entrance of cheetahs" last year from Namibia, according to authorities in the Environment Ministry.

Purpose

  • Documents suggest that the alliance's objective is to provide a platform for "dissemination of information on benchmarked practises, capacity building, resources repository, research and development, awareness creation", etc., on the preservation and conservation of big cats.
  • It will focus on "advocacy, partnership, knowledge e-portal, capacity building, eco-tourism, partnerships between expert groups, and fund tapping," among other things.

Structure

  • The IBCA's governing body will be composed of a UN General Assembly made up of representatives from all member nations, a council made up of at least seven but no more than 15 member nations chosen by the General Assembly for a term of five years, and a Secretariat.
  • The General Assembly will choose the IBCA Secretary General for a particular term on the Council's suggestion.
  • The IBCA is anticipated to survive on membership fees, contributions from bilateral and multilateral organisations, and the private sector beyond the first five years, which will be supported by India's "total grant assistance" of $100 million.

Criticism

  • Building yet another platform won't help conservation if there isn't the political will to carry out what we know has to be done.
  • The amount of money committed (to IBCA) exceeds what India can reportedly afford to spend on 22 species that are in danger of going extinct.
  • Lack of financing has caused several important landscapes and species recovery programmes to stagnate.
  • Big cat experts are concerned that a number of important habitats and programmes for the recovery of endangered species are suffering from a lack of funding.

About Big Cat

  • There are seven main big cats, including the tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar, and cheetah, as was previously mentioned.
  • Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Cheetah are among the five great cats that call India home.
  • Royal Bengal Tiger - The number of tigers in India has climbed to 2967, according to the most recent Tiger Census, which was done in 2018–19.
  • Nowadays, India is home to 70% of the world's tigers.
  • The final habitat for the world's remaining population of Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir National Park.
  • There are now 674 (Census 2020)Asiatic Lions, up from less than 200 in the late 1960s.
  • Leopard - Among all the subspecies in Asia, there are thought to be 12,000–14,000 leopards living there, and their population is the most genetically diversified and outbred.
  • Native to the alpine areas of Central and South Asia is the snow leopard.
  • In India, a significant portion of the western Himalayas, as well as the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas, are within their geographic range.
  • Around 7,500 snow leopards will still be alive in 2021, and 500 of them will be in India.
  • Since 1952, the cheetah has been extinct in India.

As a result of the importation of 8 cheetahs from Namibia in September 2022, cheetahs have been reintroduced to the wild in India.

Read Also: Tiger Reserves in India

Source: Indian Express


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