On April, 9, 2023, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the program ‘Commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger’at Mysuru University in Mysuru, Karnataka, the first of its kind in India, organised to mark 50 years of Project Tiger.
Other Major Initiatives:
- The PM launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) for the conservation of 7 major big cats.
- He released the publications ‘Amrit Kaal Ka Vision For Tiger Conservation’, a summary report of the 5th cycle of Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves, declared tiger numbers and released the summary report of All India Tiger Estimation (5th cycle).
- He also released a commemorative coin on the completion of 50 years of Project Tiger.
-50 years of Project Tiger:
i.The Government of India (GoI) launched the “Project Tiger” in 1973 for conserving the national animal, the tiger (Panthera tigris). Thus 2023 marks the 50th year of Project Tiger.
ii.From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 51 at present, spread out in 18 of tiger range states. This amounts to around 2.23% of the geographical area of India.
iii.Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
iv.Tiger Census figures:
- As of 2022 Tiger Census, India’s tiger numbers stand at 3,167 in the wild. The 2018 Tiger Census, released in July 2019, established the presence of 2,967 tigers in India.
- The Tiger population in India has increased by 200/ 6.7% in the past four years.
India’s tiger number was about 1,411 in 2006, and it increased to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in the 2014 cycle of evaluations.
- Around 1,161 of India’s tigers are now in Central India, 824 in the Western Ghats, 804 in the Shivalik Range, 194 in the North-eastern states and 100 in the Sunderbans.
- Occupancy of tigers declined in the Western Ghats, which contain the largest tiger population in the world. The decline in tiger numbers was also prevalent in the states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana.
-Launch of International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA)
The PM launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) for the conservation of seven major big cats – tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah in collaboration with 97 countries which contain the natural habitat of these big cat species.
i.In March 2023, India proposed to launch the IBCA global alliance under its leadership with guaranteed funding of USD 100 million (over Rs 800 crore) to protect big cats and assured support over 5 years.
- In July 2019, PM Narendra Modi called for an Alliance of Global Leaders to firmly curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade in Asia.
- The IBCA is formed as an extension of that intention and it will work towards the protection and conservation of the seven major big cats.
iii.India is the only country in the world with 5 out of 7 big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopards and cheetahs except for the pumas and jaguars.
iv.The key functions of the alliance include ‘advocacy, partnership, knowledge e-portal, capacity building, eco-tourism, partnerships between expert groups and finance tapping’.
v.IBCA Governance Structure:
- The IBCA’s governance structure will consist of a General Assembly including 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.
- Based on the recommendation of the Council, the General Assembly will appoint the IBCA Secretary General for a specific term.
i.About 75,000 square kilometres of land in India are covered by Tiger reserves and the tiger population in the country has increased by 75% in the past 10 to 12 years.
ii.India contain 75% of the world’s tiger population in the 75th year of Indian Independence.
- Bharia community from Central India and Worli community from Maharashtra among others worship the tiger whereas many communities in India consider the tiger as a friend and brother.
iii.Eventhough India has only 2.4% of the world’s land area, it contributes toward 8% to known global biodiversity.
- India added over 2200 square kilometres of forest and tree cover by 2021 when compared to 2019.
iv.India is the largest tiger range country in the world, the largest Asiatic elephant range country in the world with nearly thirty thousand elephants, and also the largest single-horn rhino country with a population of nearly 3 thousand.
- India is the only country in the world to have Asiatic lions and its population has increased from around 525 in 2015 to around 675 in 2020.
- As per the statement of the PM, India’s leopard population increased by over 60 percent in 4 years.
- Recovery of some of the aquatic species, which were once considered to be in danger, have improved due to the cleaning of rivers such as the Ganga.
Key People: Bhupender Yadav, the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, also participated in the launch event.
Note – PM also mentioned the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Elephant Whispers’ and stated that it reflects India’s legacy of the wonderful relationship between Nature and Creature.
Recent Related News:
On February 27, 2023, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and inaugurated numerous development projects totaling more than Rs. 3,600 crore at Shivamogga, Karnataka.