Biosphere Reserves of India

A Biosphere reserve is notified sites which is established by a country and recognized under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. This programme was initiated by UNESCO in 1971 and is dedicated for promotion of sustainable development based on local community efforts and scienctific research. The motive of formation of a biosphere reserve is to conserve in situ all forms of life, along with it’s support system, in its totality, so that changes in natural ecosystems could be continuously monitored and evaluated. It works to foster the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development through participatory dialogue, knowledge sharing, poverty reduction, human well-being improvements, respect for cultural values and by improving society’s ability to cope with climate change.

The Biosphere reserve consists of three zones as following,

Core Areas

It comprises a strictly protected zone that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation

Buffer Zones

It surrounds or adjoins the core area(s), and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.

Transition Area

The transition area is where communities foster socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable economic and human activities.

The first biosphere reserve of the world was established in 1979, since then the number has increased to 701 biosphere reserves in 124  countries, including 21 transboundary sites across the world. Great Bear Lake and its surrounding watershed in Canada’s Northwest Territories is considered as the largest biosphere reserve in the world, whereas Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is the largest biosphere reserve in India.

Presently, there are 18 notified biosphere reserves in India, spread across various states of India.

S. No.Name of Biosphere ReserveDate of NotificationLocation
1Nilgiri1st September, 1986Part of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Madumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnatka).
2Nanda Devi18th January, 1988Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar districts (Uttarakhand).
3Nokrek1st September, 1988Part of Garo hills (Meghalaya).
4Great Nicobar6th January, 1989Southern most islands of Andaman And Nicobar.
5Gulf of Mannar18th February, 1989Indian part of Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka (Tamil Nadu).
6Manas14th March, 1989Part of Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Nalbari, Kamprup & Darang(Assam)
7Sunderbans29th March, 1989Part of delta of Ganges and
Brahamaputra river system
(West Bengal).
8Simlipal21st June, 1994Part of Mayurbhanj district (Orissa).
9Dibru-Saikhowa28th July, 1997Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts
10Dehang-Dibang2nd September, 1998Part of Siang and Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.
11Pachmarhi3rd March, 1999Parts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh.
12Khangchendzonga7th February, 2000Parts of Khangchendzonga hills and Sikkim.
13Agasthyamalai12th November, 2001Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries and adjoining areas in Kerala.
14Achanakamar –
30th March, 2005Covers parts of Anupur and Dindori
districts of M.P. and parts of Bilaspur
districts of Chhattishgarh State.
15Kachchh29th January, 2008Part of Kachchh, Rajkot, Surendra
Nagar and Patan Civil Districts of Gujarat.
16Cold Desert28th August, 2009Pin Valley National Park and around; Chandratal and
Sarchu&Kibber Wildlife Sancturary in Himachal Pradesh
17Seshachalam Hill20th September, 2010Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts
of Chittoor and Kadapa districts of
Andhra Pradesh
18Panna25th August, 2011Part of Panna and Chhattarpur districts
in Madhya Pradesh

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