Biosphere Reserve (BR) is an international designation by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large areas of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination of both.
Biosphere Reserves tries to balance economic and social development and maintenance of associated cultural values along with the preservation of nature.
Biosphere Reserves are thus special environments for both people and nature and are living examples of how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each others’ needs.
Functions of Biosphere Reserve
- Managing Biosphere Reserve’s genetic resources, endemic species, ecosystems, and landscapes.
- It may prevent man-animal conflict eg. death of tiger Avni who was shot dead when she turned man-eater
- Along with the wildlife, culture and customs of tribals are also protected
- Promoting economic and human growth that is sustainable on a sociocultural and ecological level. It seeks to strengthen the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and protection of the environment.
- Logistic support:
- Promoting research activities, environmental education, training and monitoring in the context of local, national and international conservation and sustainable development.
Biosphere Reserves in India
- There are 18 biosphere reserves in India:
- Cold Desert, Himachal Pradesh
- Nanda Devi, Uttrakhand
- Khangchendzonga, Sikkim
- Dehang-Debang, Arunachal Pradesh
- Manas, Assam
- Dibru-Saikhowa, Assam
- Nokrek, Meghalaya
- Panna, Madhya Pradesh
- Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
- Achanakmar-Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh
- Kachchh, Gujarat (Largest Area)
- Similipal, Odisha
- Sundarban, West Bengal
- Seshachalam, Andhra Pradesh
- Agasthyamala, Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala
- Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu-Kerala (First to be Included)
- Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu
- Great Nicobar, Andaman & Nicobar Island