Biosphere Reserves in India

The Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB, or MaB) of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
The term ‘biosphere’ refers to all of the land, water and atmosphere that supply life on earth. The word ‘reserve’ means that it is a special area recognized for balancing conservation with sustainable use. The term ‘reserve’ does not mean that these places are set aside from human use and development. In fact, the study of human use is an important part of the biosphere reserve program.
A biosphere reserve is an area proposed by its residents, ratified by a national committee, and designated by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) program, which demonstrates innovative approaches to living and working in harmony with nature. One of the primary objectives of MAB is to achieve a sustainable balance between the goals of conserving biological diversity, promoting economic development, and maintaining associated cultural values.
Ø  Presently, there are 18 existing biosphere reserves in India. As of now, only Eight viz. Nilgiri (2000), Gulf of Mannar (2001), Sunderban (2001), Nanda Devi(2004), Nokrek (2009), Pachmarhi(2009), Similipal (2009) and Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve (2012) are in the UNESCO’s MAB world network.

Functions Of Biosphere Reserves:
Each biosphere reserve is intended to fulfil 3 basic functions, which are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
· Conservation Function - to contribute to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation;
· A Development Function - to foster economic and human development which is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable;

· Logistic Function - to provide support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global issues of conservation and development.

List of Biosphere Reserves of India
NAME
YEAR
STATE
TYPE
KEY FAUNA
AREA (KM²)
NILGIRI BIOSPHERE RESERVE1st
1986
TAMIL NADU, KERALA & KARNATAKA
WESTERN
GHATS
NILGIRI TAHR,
LION-TAILED
MACAQUE
5520
NANDA DEVI NATIONAL PARK & BIOSPHERE RESERVE
1988
UTTARAKHAND
WESTERN
HIMALAYAS
5860
NOKREK
1988
MEGHALAYA
EAST
HIMALAYAS
RED PANDA
820
GULF OF MANNAR
1989
TAMIL NADU
COASTS
DUGONG OR
SEA COW
10500
SUNDAR-BANS
1989
WEST BENGAL
GANGETIC
DELTA
ROYAL BENGAL
TIGER
9630
MANAS
1989
ASSAM
EAST
HIMALAYAS
GOLDEN LANGUR,
RED PANDA
2837
GREAT NICOBAR BIOSPHERE RESERVE
1989
ANDAMAN AND
NICOBAR ISLANDS
ISLANDS
SALTWATER
CROCODILE
885
SIMLIPAL
1994
ODISHA
DECCAN
PENINSULA
GAUR, ROYAL
BENGAL TIGER,
WILD ELEPHANT
4374
DIBRU- SAIKHOWA
1997
ASSAM
EAST
HIMALAYAS
GOLDEN LANGUR
765
DIHANG- DIBANG
1998
ARUNACHAL PRADESH
EASTERN
HIMALAYA
5112
PACHMARHI BIOSPHERE RESERVE
1999
MADHYA PRADESH
SEMI-ARID
GIANT SQUIRREL,
FLYING SQUIRREL
4981.72
KHANGCHEN-DZONGA
2000
SIKKIM
EAST
HIMALAYAS
SNOW LEOPARD,
RED PANDA
2620
AGASTHYA-MALAI BIOSPHERE RESERVE
2001
KERALA, TAMIL NADU
WESTERN
GHATS
NILGIRI TAHR,
ELEPHANTS
1828
ACHANAKAMAR 

AMARKANTAK
2005
MADHYA PRADESH,
CHHATTISGARH
MAIKALA
HILLS
3835
GREAT RANN OF KUTCH or Gyan BhartiLargest
2008
GUJARAT
DESERT
INDIAN WILD ASS
12454
COLD DESERT
2009
HIMACHAL PRADESH
WESTERN
HIMALAYAS
SNOW LEOPARD
7770
SESHACHALAM HILLS
2010
ANDHRA PRADESH
EASTERN GHATS
4755
PANNASmallest
2011
MADHYA PRADESH
CATCHMENT AREA OF THE KEN RIVER
TIGER, CHITAL,
CHINKARA,
SAMBHAR AND SLOTH BEAR
543


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