Biosphere Reserves in India
There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India established by the government that protects large areas of natural habitats. These areas are provided with buffer zones that are open for some economic uses. Not only the flora and fauna but also the humans inhabiting these areas are protected.
|Name of Biosphere Reserves||States|
|Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka|
|Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve||West Bengal|
|Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu|
|Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve||Uttarakhand|
|Simlipal Biosphere Reserve||Odisha|
|Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve||Madhya Pradesh|
|Nokrek Biosphere Reserve||Meghalaya|
|Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve||Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh|
|Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve||Great Nicobar|
|Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve||Kerala and Tamil Nadu|
|Khangchendzonga National Park||Sikkim|
|Great Rann of Kutchg||Gujarat|
|Cold Desert||Himachal Pradesh|
|Seshachalam Hills||Andhra Pradesh|
Biosphere reserves are the protected areas meant for the conservation of plants and animals. It also restores the traditional life of the tribals living in that vicinity. They conserve the biodiversity of that area. The Biosphere Reserves are identified by the Man and Biosphere Reserve Program to promote sustainable development. This program was initiated by UNESCO in 1971.
Zones of Biosphere Reserve
There are three biosphere reserve zones:
- Core Zone: This is a legally protected area where human intervention is strictly prohibited. It is the innermost undisturbed ecosystem. The information from these areas helps to assess the sustainability of activities, or maintenance of environmental quality in the surrounding areas.
- Buffer Zone: The area surrounding the core zone is the buffer zone. Here only research and education activities are permitted to humans. These activities should not obstruct the conservation objectives of the core area. This area also includes activities that help to manage natural vegetation, agricultural land, fisheries, or forests to enhance the quality of production. This zone might also include recreation and tourism facilities. Human activities are less intensive in this zone as compared to the transition zone.
- Manipulation Zone: It is the peripheral area of a biosphere reserve where human activities like cropping, recreation, forestry, and settlements are permitted with the cooperation of reserve management and local people. Through these activities, the degraded area is resumed to its natural form. The local communities, scientists, conservation agencies, cultural groups, and other stakeholders work in this zone to use the area in a sustainable way for the welfare of humans living there.