Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on World lion Day lauded the dedication of all those working towards protecting the habitat of lions and ensuring the survival of the majestic big cat known as the King of the Jungle.
The Prime Minister tweeted: “World Lion Day is an occasion to celebrate the majestic lions that captivate our hearts with their strength and magnificence. India is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lions and over the last few years there has been a steady rise in the lion population in India. I laud all those working towards protecting the habitat of lions. May we continue to cherish and protect them, ensuring they thrive for generations to come.”
PM Modi took the initiative to launch the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) with the aim of conserving seven major big cat species including the Lion. The alliance was based on the success story of India’s Project Tiger which resulted in India becoming home to 70% of the world’s Tiger population.
The Lion is included in the list of 7 big cats the others being Leopard, Snow Leopard, Puma, Jaguar, and Cheetah.
The idea for the alliance originated in July 2019, when Prime Minister Modi called for a coalition of global leaders to join forces against poaching and illegal wildlife trade in Asia on Global Tiger Day. The establishment of the International Big Cat Alliance is a testament to the commitment to this initiative’s principles. The alliance will play a vital role in mobilizing financial and technical resources to support the entire ecosystem associated with big cats, thereby ensuring their conservation and protection.
The alliance aims to reach out to 97 range countries covering the natural habitats.
Through IBCA, India hopes to share knowledge, expertise, and global best practices in conserving these species with other countries that have significant big cat populations, such as Indonesia, Brazil, and South Africa.
The alliance also aims to facilitate collaborations between governments, NGOs, and the private sector to create sustainable solutions for conservation.
The launch of IBCA marks a significant step towards the conservation of these magnificent animals, as their populations face unprecedented threats from habitat loss, poaching, and human-animal conflicts.
World Lion Day is observed on August 10 every year on a global scale to raise awareness about their conservation and protection. The day serves as a platform to educate people about the challenges faced by the lions across the world and to promote efforts to conserve them as well as to celebrate these majestic big cats and their significance in ecosystems and cultures around the world.
World Lion Day was first established in 2013 by Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to lions and it was co-founded by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, a husband-and-wife team who recognised the need to draw attention to the declining lion populations and the threats they were facing in the wild.