India’s Agasthyamala Listed Among 20 World Biosphere Reserves


India’s “unique” Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats is among 20 new sites added by the UN’s top cultural body UNESCO to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. 


The International Co-ordinating Council added the new sites during a two-day meeting on Saturday in Lima, capital of Peru, bringing the total number of biosphere reserves to 669 sites in 120 countries, including 16 transboundary sites. The newly adopted sites include 18 national site and one transboundary site shared between Spain and Portugal. The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR) was established in 2001 and is spread across the two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 

Biosphere reserves are places for learning about sustainable development aiming to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with the sustainable use of natural resources. 
New reserves are designated each year by the International Co-ordinating Council of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which brings together elected representatives of 34 UNESCO Member States. 

UNESCO:
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
  • UNESCO has 195 member statesand nine associate members.  Most of its field offices are “cluster” offices covering three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist.

Extra info:

  • There are 18 biosphere reserves in India out of which only nine, including the Nilgiris, Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Gulf of Mannar, Sundarban, and Great Nicobar, had been included in the network. 
  • Biosphere reserves in India protect larger areas of natural habitat and often include one or more National Parks and/or preserves, along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. 

So lets do:

  • Where is the headquater of UNESCO?
  • How many members country in UNESCO?
  • Which Indian biosphere reserves  listed among 20 world biosphere reserves by UNESCO?


Source – The Hindu

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