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BIOSPHERE RESERVE IN INDIA

DEFINITION:

The term ‘Biosphere Reserve' should denote an area:

• Which is, set aside for the conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the
improvement of the relationship between man and the environment?

• Which is, to serve as sites for long term scientific research as well as education all over
the world?

The programme of Biosphere Reserve was initiated under the 'Man & Biosphere' (MAB)
programme by UNESCO in 1971. Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal
ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its
sustainable use. They are internationally recognized, nominated by National
Governments and remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are
located. Biosphere Reserves serve in some ways as 'living laboratories' for testing out and
demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity (CES., UNESCO,
2005., IUCN, 1979).

Biosphere Reserve Objectives

Each Biosphere Reserve is intended to fulfill three basic functions, which are
complementary and mutually reinforcing:

• A 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;

• A logistic function - to provide support for research, monitoring, education and


information exchange related to local, national and global issues of conservation and
development (UNESCO, 2005).

List of Biosphere Reserves in India


Area of
Date of
S.No. Name Biosphere District State
establishment
(sq km)
Madhya
Achanakmar- Anupur, Dindori &
1 3835.51 2005 Pradesh &
Amarkantak Bilaspur
Chhattishgarh
2 Agasthyamalai 1701.00 2001 - Kerala
Siang & DebangArunachal
3 Dehang-Debang 5111.5 1998
Valley Pradesh
Dibrugarh and
4 Dibru-Saikhowa 765.00 1997 Assam
Tinsukia
Southern most
Andaman and
5 Great Nicobar 885.00 1989 Island of Andaman
Nicobar
and Nicobar
Indian part of Gulf
6 Gulf of Mannar 10,500.00 1989 Tamil Nadu
of Mannar
Khangchendzonga
7 Khangchenjunga 2619.92 2000 Sikkim
Hills
Part of Kokrajhar,
Bongaigaon,
8 Manas 2837.00 1989 Barpeta, Nalbari,Assam
Kamprup and
Darang
Chamoli, Almora,
9 Nanda Devi 5860 1988 Uttaranchal
and Pithoragarh,
Part of Wayanad,
Bandipur, and
Tamil Nadu,
Nagarhole,
10 Nilgiri 5520.4 1986 Kerala, and
Nilambur, Silent
Karnataka
Valley and Siruvani
Hills
11 Nokrek 80.00 1988 Part of Garo Hills Meghalaya
Betul,
Madhya
12 Pachmarhi 4926.00 1999 Hoshangabad and
Pradesh
Chindwara
13 Simlipal 4374.00 1994 Mayurbhanj Orissa
Delta of Ganges
14 Sunderbans 9630.00 1989 West Bengal
and Brahmaputra

Protected area categories

Name Objectives Features Zone


Conservation of species of aNo human resides in the Park,
National habitat with minimal or veryother than a public servant on
Core
Parks low intensity of humanduty and permitted persons by
activity. the Chief Wild Life Warden.
Sanctuaries Conservation of species andNo human resides in theCore, Buffer and
habitats by manipulativeSanctuary, other than a publicRestoration
management. servant on duty and permitted
persons by the Chief Wild Life
Warden.
Conservation of the natural
Both natural and human-
resources and for the Core, Buffer,
Biosphere influenced ecosystems;
improvement of the Restoration and
Reserves substantial human settlements
relationship between man Cultural
(rural).
and the environment therein.

Natural or Core Zone

Managed for minimum human interference, to serve as a baseline for the biological
region; research, educational and training activities are carefully controlled and must
have a non-manipulative effect in the zone.

Manipulative or Buffer Zone

Managed for research, education and training activities and manipulative methods and
techniques are permitted. Traditional activities including timber production, hunting,
fishing and grazing are permitted.

Reclamation or Restoration

Managed to study and reclaim lands and natural resources where heavy natural and
human caused alteration has passed ecological thresholds, where biological process have
been interrupted or where species have become locally extinct.

Cultural Zone

Managed to protect and study ongoing cultures and land use practices, which are in
harmony with the environment. Here, local residents and their activities are on the move,
but new technologies may be strictly controlled (IUCN, 1997).

Conservation Reserve

The State Government may, after having consultation with the local communities, declare
any area owned by Government, particularly the areas adjacent to National Parks and
Sanctuaries and those areas which link one protected area with another, as a Conservation
Reserve for protecting landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna and their habitats (Wildlife
Protection Society of India, 2003).

There are two Conservation Areas in India covering an area of 42.44 square km, which is
0.001% of the geographical area of the country. The State of Uttaranchal had established
these two Conservation Reserves in August 2005 (NIC, 2005).

S.No. Name Area of reservesDate ofDistrict State


(sq km) establishment
Asan Barrage
1 4.44 2005 Dehradun Uttaranchal
Wetland
2 Jhilmi Jheel 38.00 2005 Haridwar Uttaranchal

State-wise break up of protected areas in India

No. OfNo. OfNo. Of % Of


Area covered Area of
State/Union National Wildlife Conservation protected
(sq km) state (sq
Territories Parks Sanctuaries Reserves area in
NP+WS+CR km)
(NP) (WS) (CR) state
Andhra
12973.31 4 22 0 275068 4.72
Pradesh
Arunachal
10074.6 2 11 0 83743 12.03
Pradesh
Assam 3537.89 5 20 0 78438 4.51
Bihar 3334.69 1 11 0 94163 3.54
Chhattisgarh 6348.96 3 10 0 135194 4.69
Goa 754.43 1 6 0 3702 20.38
Gujarat 16902.39 4 21 0 196024 8.62
Haryana 348.84 2 10 0 44212 0.79
Himachal
7200.25 2 32 0 55673 12.93
Pradesh
Jammu &
14870.22 4 15 0 222235 6.69
Kashmir
Jharkhand 2100.4 1 10 0 79714 2.63
Karnataka 6676.63 5 21 0 191791 3.48
Kerala 2701.55 6 13 0 38863 6.95
Madhya
10854.48 9 25 0 308252 3.52
Pradesh
Maharashtra 15770.45 5 35 0 307690 5.13
Manipur 224.8 1 1 0 22327 1.01
Meghalaya 301.68 2 3 0 22429 1.35
Mizoram 1156.75 2 7 0 21081 5.49
Nagaland 222.37 1 3 0 16579 1.34
Orissa 8106.4 2 18 0 155707 5.21
Punjab 316.73 0 10 0 50362 0.63
Rajasthan 9569.16 5 23 0 342239 2.79
Sikkim 2177.1 1 6 0 7096 30.68
Tamil Nadu 2847.67 5 19 0 130058 2.19
Tripura 603.62 0 4 0 10486 5.76
Uttaranchal 6514.94 6 6 2 53485 12.18
Uttar Pradesh 5631.47 1 23 0 240926 2.34
West Bengal 2748.48 5 15 0 88752 3.09
Union Territories
Andaman &
1583.04 9 96 0 8249 19.19
Nicobar
Chandigarh 25.45 0 2 0 114 22.32
Dadra &
92.16 0 1 0 491 18.77
Nagar Haveli
Daman & Diu 2.18 0 1 0 112 1.95
Delhi 13.20 0 1 0 1483 0.89
Lakshadweep 0.01 0 1 0 32 0.031
Pondicherry 0 0 0 0 493 0
India 156586.3 94 502 2 3287263 4.76

Summary of currently available protected areas in India

Geographical Area of India = 32,87,263 km 2


Forest Area of India (FSI, 2001) = 768,436 km 2

Percentage of Forested Area in India's


Geographical Area = 23.38 %
Current Protected Area Status
National Parks = 94 Area Covered = 37,591.75 km 2
Wildlife Sanctuaries = 502 Area Covered = 118,952.11 km 2
Conservation Reserves = 2 Area Covered = 42.44 km 2
Protected Areas = 598 Area Covered = 156,586.3 km 2

National Parks % of G.A. = 1.14 %


Wildlife Sanctuaries % of G.A. = 3.62 %
Conservation Reserves % of G.A. = 0.0012 %
Protected Areas % of G.A. = 4.76 %

Tiger Reserves

Project Tiger was launched by the Government of India in the year 1973 to save the
endangered species of tiger in the country. Beginning with nine reserves in 1973-74 the
number has grown up to twenty eight in 1999-2000. These project tiger areas cover a
total area of 35,747.08 sq km, which is 1.09% of the total geographical area in the
country (WII, 2005).

List of Tiger Reserves in India


Sl. Total AreaYear of
Tiger Reserve State
No. (sq km) Establishment
1. Bandhavgarh 1,161.47 1993-1994 Madhya Pradesh
Bandipur 874.00 1973-1974
2. Karnataka
(Extension) 643.00 1999-2000
3. Bhadra 492.00 1998-1999 Karnataka
Bori-Satpur-
4. 1,486.00 1999-2000 Madhya Pradesh
Pachmarhi
5. Buxa 758.82 1982-1983 West Bengal
6. Corbett 1.134.00 1973-1974 Uttaranchal
7. Dampa 500.00 1995-1996 Mizoram
Dudhwa 811.00 1987-1988
8. Uttar Pradesh
(Extension) 551.00 1999-2000
9. Indravati 2,799.00 1982-1983 Chhattishgarh
Kalakad-Munda n
10. 800.00 1988-1989 Tamil Nadu
thurai
11. Kanha 1,945.00 1973-1974 Madhya Pradesh
12. Manas 2,840.00 1973-1974 Assam
13. Melghat 1,618.00 1973-1974 Maharashtra
Nagarjunsagar-
14. 3,568.00 1982-1983 Andhra Pradesh
Srisailam
15. Namdapha 1985.23 1982-1983 Arunachal Pradesh
16. Nameri 344.00 1999-2000 Assam
17. Pakhui 861.95 1999-2000 Arunachal Pradesh
18. Palamau 928.00 1973-1974 Jharkhand
19. Panna 542.66 1994-1995 Madhya Pradesh
20. Pench 757.85 1992-1993 Madhya Pradesh
21. Pench 257.00 1998-1999 Maharashtra
22. Periyar 777.00 1978-1979 Kerala
23. Ranthambhore 825.00 1973-1974 Rajasthan
24. Sariska 800.00 1978-1979 Rajasthan
25. Simlipal 2,770 1973-1974 Orissa
26. Sunderbans 2,585.10 1973-1974 West Bengal
27. Tadoba-Andhari 626.00 1993-1994 Maharashtra
28. Valmiki 840.00 1989-1990 Bihar

Birds protected areas in India

• Rajiv Gandhi NP (Andhra Pradesh)

• Pobitora WS (Assam)
• Dibru Saikhowa WS (Assam)

• D'Ering Memorial WS (Arunachal Pradesh)

• Pakhui WS (Arunachal Pradesh)

• Namdapha TR (Arunachal Pradesh)

• Shoolpaneshwar WS (Gujarat)

• Wild Ass WS (Gujarat)

• Great Himalayan NP (Himachal Pradesh)

• Majhatal Harsang WS (Himachal Pradesh)

• Kalesar WS (Haryana)

• Eravikulam NP (Kerala)

• Chinnar WS (Kerala)

• Chendurang WS (Kerala)

• Radhanagari WS (Maharashtra)

• Blue Mountain (Phawngpui) NP (Mizoram)

• Bhitarkanika WS (Orissa)

• Sajjangarh WS (Rajasthan)

• Sariska Tiger Reserve (Rajasthan)

• Mudumalai WS (Tamil Nadu)

• Rajaji NP (Uttaranchal)

• Cobertt NP (Uttaranchal)

• Buxa TR (West Bengal)

• Jaldapara WS (West Bengal)

24 protected areas.
Books of Biosphere Reserves

• Negi, S.S. (1991). Handbook of National Parks, Sanctuaries, and Biosphere


Reserves in India . Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi.
• Koester, S. (1984). Socio-economic and cultural role of fishing in the virgin
Island Biosphere Reserve area . Island Resources Foundation.
• Kothri, Ashish; Pande, Pratibha; Singh, Shekhar and Variava, Dilnavaz (1989).
Management of National Parks and Sanctuaries in India: A Status Report. Indian
Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.

Reports of Biosphere Reserves

• Armentano, T.V. Biosphere Reserve as a focus for research on global ecological


problems . Institute of Ecology, Indiana, USA.
• Report of the committee constituted by the DOE, GOI to demarcate the various
zones of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve . (1984) Department of Environment, New
Delhi, India.
• Biosphere Reserve and its relationship to other areas . (1979). IUCN.
• Krishnamurthy, K. (1984). Programme on Man And Biosphere (MAB)
establishment of Biospheres in India . Center of Advanced Study in Marine
Biology, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu.
• Lamba, B.S. (1982). Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve: Project Document 3 . Indian
National Man And Biosphere Committee.
• Johnson, J.M. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: A note on Research Objectives etc.
Muduamlai Sanctuary, Udhagamandalam.Biosphere Reserves: Indian Approach .
Department of Environment, New Delhi.
• Proposal to the DST to invite a co-operative research program at the Proposed
Biosphere Reserve on the Mysore-Kerala, Wynaad Plateau. Centre for
Theoretical Studies, IISC, Bangalore.
• Report of the committee constituted by the DOE, GOI to demarcate the various
zones of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Department of Environment, New Delhi.
• Proposal for reorganizing and reorienting nature conservation and establishing
Biosphere Reserve. Department of Environment.
• Working group II: Biosphere Reserve criteria / administration: Present status of
Biosphere Reserve in India. Department of Environment, New Delhi.
• Man And Biosphere Committee: 24 th Meeting . (1983) Department of New
Delhi.
• Singh, S. (1982). Not on proposal for Biosphere Reserve comments . Department
of Environment, New Delhi.
• Namdapha Biosphere Reserve: Project Document, Man And Biosphere Reserve
Programme. Department of Environment, New Delhi.
• Gadgil, M. and Sukumar, R. Research priorities in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
an overview . CES, IISC, Bangalore. Gadgil, M. Biosphere Reserve: Talk on Air
on September 26 th 1982 . CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Gadgil, M. To demarcate the various zones of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve .
Department of Environment, New Delhi.
• Karnath, K.U. Biological conservation in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve:
Examples from Nagarhole National Park. Hajra, P.K. (1982).
• Nanda Devi National Park (Uttar Pradesh, India): Establishment of Biosphere
Reserve in India materials for project . Botanical Survey of India, West Bengal.
• Guidelines for the selection of Biosphere Reserves: An Interim Report and Key .
(1981). UNESCO.
• Saldanha, C. J.; Ansari, R.; Daniels, R.J.R.; Easa, P.; Gopalan, R.; Nair, V.J. and
Suresh, H.S. (1986). Multidisciplinary expedition to the Nilgiri Biosphere
Reserve: 10-18 April 1986 preliminary investigation . CES Technical Report No.
16 . CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Information System: Preliminary Report. CES, IISC
Bangalore.
• Gadgil, M.; Nair, S.S.C. and Sukumar, R. (1986) Scientific programme for the
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: Proposal for an action plan . CES Technical Report
No. 37. CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: An overview. Envis Technical Report No. 11. Envis
Centre, CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Nilgiri biosphere Reserve: Bibliography. Envis Technical Report No. 14. Envis
Centre, CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Saldanha, C.J.; Ansari, R.; Daniels, R.J.R.; Easa.; Gopalan, R.; Nair, V.J. and
Suresh, H.S. (1989). Multidisciplinary expedition to the Nilgiri Biosphere
Reserve. CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Information System . CES, IISC, Bangalore.
• Biosphere Reserves: Proceedings of the first National Symposium
Udhagamandalam, 24-25 September 1986. (1987). Ministry of Environment and
Forest, New Delhi.
• Sarkar, Sarbani.; Suri, Saloni.; Singh, Neena. and Kothari , Ashish. (1985). Joint
management of protected areas in India: Report of a Workshop. Indian Institute
of Public Administration, New Delhi.

Environmental Law Books

• Wildlife Protection Society of India (2003). The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 .
Professional Book Publishers, New Delhi.
• P. Leelakrishnan (1999). Environmental law in India . Butterworths India, New
Delhi.
• CEERA Research Team (1998). Environmental Law (Documents) Vol. 1 Major
Environmental Laws in India. Centre for Environmental Education, Research and
Advocacy. National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
• Priya Ranjan Trivedi (1996). International Environmental Laws. APH Publishing
Corporation in association with the Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment,
New Delhi.
• Chetan Singh Mehta (1991). Environmental Protection and the Law . Ashish
Publishing House, New Delhi.