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Cabinet Approval, Establishment of International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA)

The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the establishment of the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) with its headquarters based in India. This landmark decision comes with a one-time budgetary support of Rs. 150 crore for a period of five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

Background and Context

Call for Alliance

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, recognizing India’s significant role in conserving big cats and endangered species, called for the formation of an Alliance of Global Leaders to combat poaching in Asia during his speech on Global Tiger Day in 2019. This call was reiterated on the occasion of commemorating 50 years of India’s Project Tiger on April 9, 2023, where the launch of the International Big Cat Alliance was formally announced.

Objectives and Scope

Conservation Focus

The International Big Cat Alliance focuses on conserving big cats, including Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, and Cheetah. Five out of these seven big cats are found in India, emphasizing the country’s pivotal role in big cat conservation.

Multifaceted Approach

IBCA is envisioned as a multi-country, multi-agency coalition comprising big cat range countries, non-range countries interested in conservation, conservation partners, scientific organizations, and business groups. It aims to establish networks, develop synergies, and create a centralized repository of successful conservation practices and personnel. This collaborative platform facilitates knowledge sharing, capacity building, advocacy, and financial support for conservation efforts.

Key Components and Governance

Framework and Governance

IBCA’s framework is modeled after the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and consists of an Assembly of Members, Standing Committee, and Secretariat headquartered in India. A Steering Committee, comprising nominated national focal points of founding member countries, oversees its operations.

Budgetary Support and Funding

The Government of India has provided an initial budgetary support of Rs. 150 crore for five years. Additional funding will be explored through contributions from bilateral and multilateral agencies, public sector organizations, financial institutions, and donor agencies.

Impact and Significance

Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development

By safeguarding big cats and their habitats, IBCA contributes to natural climate adaptation, water and food security, and the well-being of communities dependent on these ecosystems. It aims to promote cooperation among countries for mutual benefit and advance long-term conservation goals.

Mainstreaming Biodiversity

IBCA advocates for integrating biodiversity policies with sustainable development goals (SDGs) to achieve holistic and inclusive conservation outcomes. It emphasizes policy initiatives that align biodiversity conservation efforts with local needs and contribute to UN SDGs related to climate change, food security, clean water, and poverty reduction.

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