Global initiative: PROTECTED AREA NETWORK
The MAB (Man and biosphere reserve)
• An Intergovernmental Scientific Programme.
• Aim – to set a scientific basis for the improvement of the relationships between people
and their environment globally.
• Launched in the early 1970s it wanted to promote innovative approaches to economic
development that is socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.
• Agenda of the MAB Prorgamme is defined by International Coordinating Council (main
• For implementation of its interdisciplinary work on ground, MAB relies on the World
Network of Biosphere Reserves, and on thematic networks and partnerships for
knowledge-sharing, research and monitoring, education and training, and participatory
• It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby
increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well-being of
both human populations and the environment.
Biosphere Reserve (BR)
• A Biosphere Reserve is a unique and representative ecosystem of terrestrial and coastal
areas which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and
Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
• They are special environments for both people and the nature and are living examples
of how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each other’s needs.
• This program wants to promote sustainable development based on local community
efforts and sound science.
Characteristics of Biosphere reserve
• Each Biosphere Reserves are protected area of land and/or coastal environments where
in people are an integral component of the system.
• The network of BRs includes significant examples of biomes throughout the world.
• Each BR includes one or more of the following categories –
- o BRs are representative examples of nature biomes.
o They conserve unique communities of biodiversity.
o BRs have examples of harmonious landscapes resulting from traditional patterns
of land use.
o BRs have examples of modified or degraded ecosystems capable of being
restored to more natural conditions.
National Biosphere Reserve Programme
• It was initiated in 1986.
• To serve as wider base for conservation of entire range of living resources and their
• To bring out representative ecosystems.
• To ensure participation of local inhabitants → effective management and improving
• Integrate scientific research with conservation, education and training (as overall
management of BR).
Biosphere reserves of India
|Part of Waynad, Nagarhole,|
Bandipur and Mudumalai,
Nilambur, Silent Valley
|Nilgiri tahr, lion|
|Parts of Chamoli District,|
Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar
|Indian part of Gulf of Mannar|
extending from Rameswaram
island in the North to
Kanyakumari in the South of
Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka
|Tamil Nadu||Coasts||Dugong or sea|
|1988||Nokrek||Part of Garo Hills||Meghalaya||East|
|1989||Sundarbans||Part of delta|
of Ganges and Brahmaputra river
|1989||Manas||Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon,|
Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamrup and
langur, red panda
|1994||Simlipal||Part of Mayurbhanj district||Odisha||Deccan|
|Part of Siang and Dibang Valley||Arunachal|
Takin, Musk Deer
|Parts of Betul District,|
Hoshangabad District and
of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur
wild dog, Sarus
of Kutch, Rajkot, Surendranagar a
nd Patan Districts
|Gujarat||Desert||Indian wild ass|
|2009||Cold Desert||Pin Valley National Park and|
Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife
|Parts of Kangchenjunga||Sikkim||East|
|Neyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny|
Wildlife Sanctuary and their
|Southern most islands|
of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
|Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia|
|Seshachalam Hill Ranges|
covering parts of Chittoor and
|2011||Panna||Part of Panna|
District and Chhatarpur District
Criteria for selection of BRs
• A site that must contain an effectively protected and minimally disturbed core area.
• It should include –
- o Additional land and water suitable for research.
o Demonstration of sustainable methods of research and management.
• Core area should be typical of a biogeographical unit and large enough to sustain viable
populations representing all tropic levels in the ecosystem.
• Areas having rare and endangered species.
• Areas having diversity of soil and micro-climatic conditions and indigenous varieties of
• Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for
harmonious use of environment.
Structure and Design of Biosphere Reserves
In order to undertake complementary activities of biodiversity conservations and development
of sustainable management aspects, Biosphere Reserves are demarcated into three interrelated zones.
The Core Zone
• It should be kept absolutely undisturbed.
• It must contain suitable habitat for plant and animal species
• It conserves the wild relatives of economic species and also represent important genetic
• It also contains places of exceptional scientific interest.
• It secures legal protection and management and research activities that do not affect
natural processes and wildlife are allowed.
• Strict nature reserves and wilderness portions of the area are designated as core areas
• It is to be kept-free from all human pressures external to the system.
The Buffer zone
• Surrounds the core zone.
• Its uses and activities (restoration, demonstration sites for enhancing value addition for
the resources, limited recreation, tourism, fishing and grazing) are managed in ways that
protect the core zone.
Q.) Why these activities area allowed when they can have detrimental impact on
To reduce its effect on core zone.
• Research and educational activities are to be encouraged.
• Human activities, if natural then only allowed.
The Transition Zone
• Outermost part of a Biosphere Reserve.
• This is usually not delimited one.
• It is a zone of cooperation where conservation, knowledge and management skills are
applied and uses are managed in harmony with the purpose of the Biosphere Reserve.
• Uses include – settlements, crop lands, managed forests and area for intensive
recreation, and other economic uses characteristic of the region.
How Biosphere Reserves are different from protected areas?
BR intention is not to replace existing protected areas but it widens the scope of
conventional approach of protection and further strengthen the Protected Area
Existing legally protected areas (NP, WLS, Tiger Reserve and reserve protected forests)
may become part of the BR without any change in their legal status.
Inclusion of such areas in BR will enhance their national value but it doesn’t mean that
Biosphere Reserves are to be established only around the National Parks and Wildlife
However, the Biosphere Reserves differ from protected areas due to their emphasis on –
1. Conservation of overall biodiversity rather than some specific flagship species
2. Different components of BRs like landscapes, habitats, and species and land races.
3. Developmental activities, and resolution of conflicts between development and
4. Local people’s participation and their training.
5. Sustainable environment friendly development.
6. Research and Monitoring.
World Network of Biosphere Reserves
In order to facilitate cooperation, BRs are admitted into international network by
International Coordinating Council of MAB program of UNESCO on the request of
participating country subject to fulfilling of criteria.
Participation is voluntary and BRs remain under sole sovereignty of state.
Delisting – on grounds of violation of obligation for conservation and sustainable
development of BRs.
Ten of the eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere
Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.
|Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka||2000|
|Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu||2001|
|Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve||West Bengal||2001|
|Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve||Uttarakhand||2004|
|Nokrek Biosphere Reserve||Meghalaya||2009|
|Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve||Madhya Pradesh||2009|
|Simlipal Biosphere Reserve||Odisha||2009|
|Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve||Great Nicobar||2013|
|Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve||Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh||2012|
|Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve||Kerala and Tamil Nadu||2016[|