A chance to expand the world’s biosphere footprint – UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) Programme | 3rd November 2022 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It discusses the importance of and the contribution made by the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) Programme in bringing the idea of “Living in Harmony with Nature” to reality.


  • GS3:Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment; Prelims.

What's the crux of the article?

  • From now on, November 3 will be celebrated as “The International Day for Biosphere Reserves.”
    Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal do not have biospheres as yet.
  • However, they might receive their first one during the “South and Central Asia MAB Reserve” Networking Meeting in 2023—as a part of the new, interconnected World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves.

“Living in Harmony with Nature”

  • Living in harmony with nature means that we respect all life around us. It fosters the well-being of the planet, humans, animals, and plant life simultaneously

Significance of MAB in the conservation of biodiversity:

  • All biosphere reserves have created science-based management plans.
  • It encouraged development of best practices to conserve biodiversity locally.
  • Awareness among the globe about the importance of biodiversity conservation increased significantly.
  • They applied best practices while testing regional alternatives for sustainable human living and nature conservation.
  • They encouraged the realisation of the concept of living harmoniously with nature.

Important Facts for Prelims:

  • First BR in South Asia= Hurulu Biosphere Reserve, in Sri Lanka
  • First BR in India= Nilgiri BR (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala), 2000.
  • There are 18 Biosphere reserves in India as of 2022, of which 12 are also part of the UNESCO MAB Programme.
  • World Network of Biosphere Reserves currently counts 738 sites in 134 countries all over the world, including 22 transboundary sites.
  • BRs are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.

List Of Biosphere Reserves In India (first 12 are part of MAB):

  1. Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu-Kerala (First to be Included)
  2. Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu
  3. Sundarban, West Bengal
  4. Nanda Devi, Uttrakhand
  5. Nokrek, Meghalaya
  6. Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
  7. Similipal, Odisha
  8. Achanakmar-Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh
  9. Great Nicobar, Andaman & Nicobar Island
  10. Agasthyamala, Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala
  11. Khangchendzonga, Sikkim
  12. Panna, Madhya Pradesh
  13. Cold Desert, Himachal Pradesh
  14. Dehang-Debang, Arunachal Pradesh
  15. Manas, Assam
  16. Dibru-Saikhowa, Assam
  17. Kachchh, Gujarat (Largest Area)
  18. Seshachalam, Andhra Pradesh

UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB):

  • UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme was created in 1971 with a vision: promote a sustainable connection between people and nature.

Way Forward:

  • We have to revert to living in harmony with nature — to breathe clean air again, have access to enough good water, eat nutritious and affordable food, and live in dignity.And thus, the role of the MAB programme certainly becomes important.

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