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PM Modi Spearheads Global Conservation Efforts with Launch of International Big Cat Alliance

In the mega international event held on April 9, 2023, in Mysuru, Karnataka, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) for the conservation of seven big cats that live on our planet: Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Cheetah, Jaguar, and Puma.

Shivam Dwivedi
PM Modi Spearheads Global Conservation Efforts with Launch of International Big Cat Alliance
PM Modi Spearheads Global Conservation Efforts with Launch of International Big Cat Alliance

India has a long history of tiger conservation and the protection of other big cats such as the lion, snow leopard, and leopard, and now the translocation of the Cheetah to restore an extinct big cat back to its natural habitat. 

The partnership intends to reach out to 97 range countries that encompass the natural habitats of the Tiger, Lion, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, and Cheetah. IBCA would strengthen worldwide collaboration and efforts to conserve wild inhabitants, particularly big cats.

While chairing the Ministerial session on the global status of big cat conservation, Union Minister for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav stated that conserving big cats and their habitats can secure some of the most important natural ecosystems on the planet, resulting in natural climate change adaptation, water, and food security for millions of people, and providing livelihood and sustenance to forest communities. He stated that the Alliance will strengthen global efforts and partnerships on big cat conservation while developing a platform for knowledge and best practices convergence, supporting existing species-specific intergovernmental platforms, and providing direct support to recovery efforts in potential range habitats.

According to Yadav, by using big cats as mascots for sustainable development and livelihood security, India and the big cat range countries can usher in major efforts on environmental resilience and climate change mitigation, while paving the way for a future in which natural ecosystems thrive and gain centrality in economic and development policies in the "Amrit Kaal."

The Ministers of Big Cat Range Countries recognized and welcomed India's leadership in big cat conservation, as well as the efforts of the Prime Minister, Union Minister, and senior forest officers from the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. The Ministers of Big Cat Range Countries issued the following observations on the historic establishment of the International Big Cat Alliance by India's Prime Minister.

Bhutan's Forest Minister appreciated India's leadership in guiding them in his impassioned statement. His passing remarks like may Goddess Chamundi shower her blessings on everyone of the forest fraternity and his words "Sab ka sath , sab ka vikas, sab ka vishwas aur sab ka prayas" in Hindi reverberated around the hall. Bangladesh's Forest Minister commended India for assisting in conservation efforts to save their pride, the Sundermani and Chittagong tigers.

His Excellency, the King of Cambodia, was passionate in acquiring tigers from India and rehabilitating them in their Cardamom Hills and Sripok Wildlife Sanctuary. He also discussed the re-introduction strategy that they had devised. Kenya's Minister of Wildlife, Tourism, and Culture, in a video message, praised the assistance provided by the Government of India and the Indian Forest Service in developing protocols, good managerial practices, and conducting and evaluating census results of wild animals, particularly lions, in her country. Nepal's Minister accepted India's leadership in wildlife conservation and pledged full support to the alliance.

Without hesitation, Ethiopian Forest Minister stated his joy at becoming a member of an international effort to rescue large cats. His Royal Highness the Regent of Pahang praised India's efforts and requested assistance in the revival of Malaysia's tiger population. Ministers and delegation heads from Suriname, Armenia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos also expressed gratitude for the initiative. In response to the enormous support, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav committed to work on mechanisms to move the IBCA launch forward and thanked everyone for their involvement.

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