Daily Current Affairs-UPSC – 15 May 2024 India’s Forest Cover has increased: UNFF

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May 15, 2024

Daily Current Affairs-UPSC – 15 May 2024 India’s Forest Cover has increased: UNFF

Why in news ? India’s forest cover saw a consistent increase over the last 15 years, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) said at the recently concluded United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in the US.

 Key points:

  • Globally, India ranks third in the net gain, in average annual forest area, between 2010 and 2020.
  • The country also marked 50 years of Project Tiger and 30 years of Project Elephant, underscoring its commitment to species conservation and habitat protection.
  • The creation of the International Big Cat Alliance, along with the introduction of the ‘Green Credit Programme,’ to incentivise entities to take up tree plantation and restoration of degraded forest lands.

About the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF):

  • It is basically a high-level committee that deals with international forest policy. Here’s a breakdown of its key features:

Function: Promote the management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests around the world.


  • It sets international forest policy goals and milestones.
  • It eviews progress made towards those goals.
  • It provides a platform for international cooperation on forest issues.

Members: Includes all member states of the United Nations, plus specialized agencies and observer groups.

Headquarters: New York City, USA (under the UN Economic and Social Council)

The International Big Cat Alliance:

The International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) is a big deal for big cat conservation efforts. Launched by India in April 2023, it’s a global alliance specifically focused on protecting the world’s seven big cat species:

  • Tiger
  • Lion
  • Snow Leopard
  • Leopard
  • Jaguar
  • Puma
  • Cheetah

Global Collaboration: IBCA brings together 97 countries, including many from Asia and Africa, to tackle big cat conservation as a united front. This allows for sharing best practices, faster assistance between neighboring countries, and a stronger voice for big cat protection on the international stage.

Unified Strategies: The alliance aims to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all member nations. These SOPs will serve as a guide for big cat conservation efforts, ensuring a more coordinated and effective approach across different countries.

Combating Threats: A key focus of IBCA is tackling illegal wildlife trade and poaching, which are major threats to big cat populations. The alliance plans to create a clear set of guidelines for member countries to follow, helping them clamp down on these illegal activities.

Financial Sustainability: The Indian government has pledged $100 million in initial funding to support the IBCA for its first five years. After that, the alliance aims to be self-sustaining through membership fees, contributions from organizations, and support from the private sector.



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Daily Current Affairs-UPSC – 15 May 2024 India’s Forest Cover has increased: UNFF | Vaid ICS Institute