Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) during his visit to Karnataka.
- The alliance aims to reach out to 97 range countries covering the natural habitats of Tiger, Lion, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, and Cheetah.
- It aims to provide a platform for “dissemination of information on benchmarked practices, capacity building, resources repository, research and development, awareness creation”, etc., on the protection and conservation of big cats.
- The alliance will strengthen global efforts and partnerships on big cat conservation while creating a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices.
- It will support existing species-specific inter-governmental platforms and provide direct support to recovery efforts in potential range habitats.
- The alliance aims to strengthen global efforts and partnerships to preserve the natural habitats of big cats, secure ecosystems, and provide food security, livelihood, and sustenance to forest communities.
- Big cats will now serve as mascots for sustainable development, leading to environmental resilience and climate change mitigation.
- The IBCA’s governance structure will comprise a General Assembly consisting of all member countries, a council of at least seven but not more than 15 member countries elected by the General Assembly for a term of 5 years, and a Secretariat.
- Upon the recommendation of the Council, the General Assembly will appoint the IBCA Secretary General for a specific term.
- After the first five years, which will be supported by India’s “total grant assistance” of $100 million, the IBCA is expected to sustain itself through membership fees, and contributions from bilateral and multilateral institutions and the private sector.