EDEN IAS

Biosphere Reserve

BIOSPHERE RESERVE (BR)

Introduction to Biosphere Reserve

The international Co-ordinating council (ICC) of UNESCO, in 1971 introduced the designation ‘Biosphere reserve’ for natural areas. The concept of bio-sphere reserves refine by task force of UN-ESCO’s MAB program in 1974, and BR network formally launch in 1976.

Biosphere reserves sites establish by countries and recognize under UNESCO’s man and the biosphere (MAB) program to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science. As places that seek to reconcile conservation of biological and cultural diversity and economic and social development through partnerships between people and nature, the ideal to test and demonstrate innovative approaches to sustainable development from local to international scales.

FUNCTIONS OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE

The characteristic functions of Biosphere Reserves are as follows-

Conservation

  • To ensure the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variations.
  • To encourage the traditional resource use systems.
  • To understand the patterns and processes of functioning of ecosystems;
  • To monitor the natural and human-caused changes on spatial and temporal scales;
  • To provide support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global issues of conservation and development.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE’s

The criteria for selection of sites for biosphere reserves as laid down by the core group of experts in 1979 lists below:

Primary criteria

  • A site that must contain an effectively protected and minimal disturbed core area of value of nature conservation.
  • The core area should be typical of biogeographical unit and large enough to sustain viable population representing all tropic levels in the ecosystem.

Secondary criteria

  • Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of environment.
  • Areas having rare and endangered species.

STRUCTURE OF BIO-SPHERE RESERVES

In order to undertake complementary activities of bio-diversity conservation and development of sustainable management aspects, bio-sphere reserves are demarcated into three inter-related zones-

Biosphere Reserve

  1. The Core Area: The core zone should be kept absolutely undisturbed. It must contain suitable habitat for numerous plant and animal species, including higher order predators and many contain centers of endemism. A core zone secures legal protection and management and research activities that do not affect natural processes and wildlife are allowed.
  2. The Buffer Zone: These uses and activities include restoration, demonstration sites for enhancing value addition to the resources, limited recreation, tourism, fishing and grazing which are permitted to reduce its effect on core zone. Research and educational activities are to be encouraged. Human activities, if natural within biosphere reserve are likely to be permitted to continue if these do not adversely affect the ecological diversity.
  3. The transition area: It is the outermost part of the biosphere reserve. This is usually not delimited one and is a zone of cooperation, knowledge and management skills are applied. This includes settlements, crop lands, managed forests and area for intensive recreation and other economic uses characteristics of the region.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATIONAL PARKS, WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES AND BIO-SPHERE RESERVE

Biosphere Reserve

HOW MANY BIO-SPHERE RESERVES ARE THEIR IN INDIA

There are 18 Bio-sphere reserves in India:

Biosphere Reserve 

  1. Nilgiri- Tamil-Nadu-Kerala (first to be included)
  2. Nanda Devi- Uttrakhand
  3. Nokrek- Meghalaya
  4. Gulf of Mannar- Tamil Nadu
  5. Sundarbans- West Bengal
  6. Manas- Assam
  7. Great Nicobar- Andaman & Nicobar Island
  8. Simlipal- Odisha
  9. Pachmarhi- Madhya Pradesh
  10. Khangchendzonga- Sikkim
  11. Dibru-Saikhowa- Assam
  12. Dihang-Dibang- Arunachal Pradesh
  13. Agasthyamala- Karnataka- Tamil Nadu- Kerala
  14. Achanakmar-Amarkantak- Madhya Pradesh, chhattisgarh
  15. Great Rann of kutch- Gujarat
  16. Cold desert- Himachal Pradesh
  17. Seshachalam- Andhra Pradesh
  18. Panna- Madhya Pradesh

WHY DO WE NEED BIOSPHERE RESERVES?

  • To help conserve biological diversity
  • To maintain healthy ecosystems
  • To learn about natural systems and how they are changing
  • To learn about traditional forms of land use
  • To share knowledge on how to manage natural resources in a sustainable way.
  • To co-operate in solving natural resources problems.
WORLD NETWORK OF BIOSPHERE RESERVES

The world network of Biosphere Reserves of the MAB program consists of dynamic and interactive network of sites of excellence. It fosters the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development through participatory dialogue; knowledge sharing; poverty reduction and human well-being improvements; respect for cultural values and society’s ability to cope up with change- thus contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDG’s).

The world network of Biosphere Reserves promotes North-South and South-South collaboration and represents a unique tool for international co-operation through sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, building capacity and promoting best practices.

                                        THE MAN AND BIOSPHERE RESERVE (MAB)

This program is an intergovernmental scientific program aiming to set a scientific basis for the improvement of the relationships between people and their environment globally. It purposes an interdisciplinary agenda, and capacity building that targets the ecological, social and economic dimensions of the bio-diversity loss and the reduction of this loss. For implementation of it’s interdisciplinary work on-ground, MAB relies on the world network of bio-sphere reserves, and on thematic networks and partnerships for knowledge sharing, research and monitoring, education and training and participatory decision making.

SOURCES-  Wikipedia