Cabinet Nod To Set Up International Big Cat Alliance With Headquarters In India - Eastern Mirror
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Cabinet nod to set up International Big Cat Alliance with headquarters in India

6092
By PTI Updated: Feb 29, 2024 11:51 pm
International Big Cat Alliance

NEW DELHI —The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of the International Big Cat Alliance, with its headquarters in India, to establish a global network for conserving tigers and other big cats.

It also approved a one-time budgetary support of INR 150 crore for the multi-country, multi-agency coalition of 96 big cat range countries for a period of five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his speech on Global Tiger Day in 2019, called for an alliance of global leaders to curb poaching in Asia.

He launched the alliance at an event commemorating 50 years of Project Tiger in India in April last year for the conservation of seven big cats: tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, cheetah, jaguar, and puma.

Modi on Thursday hailed the Union Cabinet’s decision on the establishment of the alliance, saying it marks a major step towards conserving “our majestic big cats and their habitats”.

Out of the seven big cats, five — tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, and cheetah — are found in India.

At a Cabinet briefing, Union minister Anurag Thakur said scientific institutions and corporations involved in environmental conservation would also be members of the IBCA.

“The success of the tiger conservation project, which led to the doubling of the strength of tigers in India has helped India establish its leadership in tiger conservation and its experiences have been used the world over,” Thakur, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, said at the Cabinet briefing.

He said those scientific institutions and corporations working in the field of environment conservation would also be members of the IBCA.

To promote this initiative, the Union Cabinet has approved a one-time budgetary support of INR 150 crore for five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

All countries of the IBCA would benefit from this alliance for innovation, research and development, capacity building on habitat, and conservation of the seven big cats.

Thakur said Prime Minister Modi, in one of the recent episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, had talked about how technology was used to increase the strength of big cats and action taken against those who created problems for them.

The minister said the cheetah had gone extinct in India but 20 of them were brought into the country and their strength has now gone up to 21, including their cubs.

The governance structure of the IBCA consists of an Assembly of Members, a Standing Committee, and a Secretariat headquartered in India. The Framework of Agreement (statute) has been drafted largely on the pattern of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and will be finalised by the International Steering Committee (ISC), an official statement said.

The Steering Committee will be constituted with nominated national focal points from founding member countries. The Director-General will be appointed by the environment ministry as the interim head of the IBCA Secretariat until IBCA appoints its own DG during the assembly meeting, it said.

The IBCA Assembly at the ministerial level will be chaired by the Union environment minister. IBCA aims for cooperation among countries for mutual benefit in furthering the conservation agenda, the statement said.

It would have a multi-pronged approach in broad-basing and establishing linkages in several areas and help in knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, networking, advocacy, finance, and resource support, it said.

With big cats as mascots for sustainable development and livelihood security, India and the countries within the big cat range can initiate significant efforts toward environmental resilience and climate change mitigation.

This will pave the way for a future where natural ecosystems continue to thrive and gain centrality in economic and development policies, the statement said.

6092
By PTI Updated: Feb 29, 2024 11:51:41 pm
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