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India’s First Biosphere in a Tiger Reserve

Two environmentalists, Jai Dhar Gupta and Vijay Dhasmana created India’s first biosphere in a tiger reserve, called the Rajaji Raghati Biosphere (RRB) within the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand.

About This Biosphere

  • Situated within the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, the biosphere overlooks the rocky white Raghati riverbed, nestled in the Shivalik foothills.
  • The biosphere is a 35-acre private forest initiative aimed at identifying and reviving rare and endangered species of native trees while protecting the area from poachers and mining.
    • The land earmarked for RRB was previously barren and in a state of degradation.
  • “Thousands of non-native eucalyptus trees were removed within days of acquiring the land. Subsequently, the land was contoured to retain water, prevent erosion, and promote groundwater recharge.”
  • They are also developing a second biosphere above the Koyna River in the buffer zone of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve near Pune, Maharashtra, along the Western Ghats.

How did it possible to create biosphere

Jai says “We collected seeds, established a seed bank, and collaborated with biodiversity parks to germinate and cultivate saplings of trees such as haldu, rohini, mala, saal, jamun, pangana, etc, which were then planted across the biosphere,” who has also banned combustion-engine vehicles in the region.

About Rajaji Tiger Reserve

In 1983 the intent notification of Rajaji National Park was issued after merging the three wildlife sanctuaries of Uttarakhand –Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla. It was named after the famous freedom fighter C. Rajgopalachari popularly known as “Rajaji”.

  • Rajaji National Park is spread over an area of 820.42 sq km. Subsequently in 2015, 255.63 sq km area of adjacent reserve forest was added to the area of Rajaji Naitonal Park as buffer zone and whole area of 1075 sq km was declared as Rajaji Tiger Reserve under the provision of Wild Life Protection Act 1972.
  • The tiger reserve provides fresh & clear air and serve as the lungs of the three major ciites of Uttarakhand – Capital city Dehradun, Sacred city Haridwar and Yoga City Rishikesh.

Future Move

Jai and Vijay are also working on a second biosphere atop the Western Ghats. The Koyna River in the buffer zone of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve near Pune, Maharashtra. “It has a very different habitat, different topography, and completely different flora.


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