The Union Cabinet approved the establishment of the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) and has also allocated a one-time budgetary support of Rs 150 crore for a five-year period, from 2023–24 to 2027–28. 

About Big Cats:

  • ‘Big Cat’ refers to the larger species within the Felidae family, primarily including those in the Panthera genus: Tiger (Panthera tigris), Lion (Panthera leo), Jaguar (Panthera onca), Leopard (Panthera pardus), and Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia).”
  • The cats Puma and Cheetah are not part of Panthera. But they are usually included in most listings of ‘big cats.
  • India is home to five out of seven big cat species, Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Cheetah.

Significance of protecting Big Cats

  • To keep ecosystem in balance
  • Big cat habitat is a source of water for hundreds of millions of people.
  • Mitigate climate change.
  • Cultural significance.
  • Big cat conservation supports economies.

About the International Big Cat Alliance: 

  • It is a global network for the conservation of big cats.
  • The Indian government originally proposed the IBCA program in 2019, which was started in Mysuru to mark the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger.
  • Its framework has been drafted based on the International Solar Alliance Pattern.
  • It was founded as a multi-country, multi-agency coalition of 96 big cat range countries and non-range conservation.
  • The headquarters countries engaged in big cat of IBCA will be located in India.


  • To ensure cooperation for the conservation of seven big cats: lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, snow leopard, jaguar, and puma.
  • Conserving the big cats and their habitats.
  • Reinforcing India’s leadership in global biodiversity conservation

Organizational Structure

  • The IBCA’s structure will include an Assembly of Members, a Standing Committee, and a Secretariat, with headquarters based in India.
  • The statute of the IBCA will be finalized by an International Steering Committee, which includes national focal points of founding member countries.
  • An interim head of the IBCA Secretariat will be appointed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) until the IBCA appoints its Director-General during an Assembly meeting.

Financial Support and Exploration

  • The Centre plans to seek contributions from bilateral and multilateral agencies; other appropriate institutions and mobilizing financial support from public sector organizations, national and international financial institutions and donor agencies to support the initiatives.

Significance of the International Big Cat Alliance:

  • It highlights the importance of integrating biodiversity policies with sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • The Alliance promotes sustainable natural resource usage and mitigates the effects of climate change.
  • It promotes natural climate adaptation, water and food security, and the well-being of thousands of populations that depend on these ecosystems.
  • IBCA would encourage international cooperation for mutual benefit and make a significant contribution to the long-term conservation agenda.

Also Read :

A new species of head shield sea slug named after Draupadi Murmu