INTERNATIONAL BIG CAT ALLIANCE
9th March, 2023 Environment
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Context: India has proposed to launch a mega global alliance under its leadership to protect big cats and assured support over five years with guaranteed funding of $100 million (over Rs 800 crore).
- The proposed International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) will work towards the protection and conservation of the seven major big cats — tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah.
- Membership to the alliance will be open to 97 “range” countries, which contain the natural habitat of these big cats, as well as other interested nations, international organisations, etc.
- Records show that the alliance’s purpose is 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.
- Its major activities will include “advocacy, partnership, knowledge e-portal, capacity building, eco-tourism, partnerships between expert groups and finance tapping”.
- 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.
- Without the political will to do what we know should be done, building yet another platform will not help conservation.
- The funding commitment (for IBCA) is more than what India can apparently afford to spend for 22 species at the brink of extinction.
- Several key landscapes and species recovery programmes are languishing due to inadequate funding.
Must read: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/7-big-cats
Q) What is International Big Cat Alliance? Discuss its structure and mandate. (150 words)