Concept of Biosphere Reserves

Concept of Biosphere Reserves

Question:-The origin of Biosphere Reserves goes back to the “Biosphere Conference” organized by UNESCO in 1968. Explain what are the Biosphere Reserves.

- Biosphere Reserves are the areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystem. They promote the solutions to accommodate the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.

- Usually, Biosphere Reserves are a multi purpose areas which are under protection. The basic aim is to preserve and protect the various diversities of flora and fauna.

- The Biosphere Reserve conference which was organized by the UNESCO in 1968 was the first intergovernmental conference. It analyzed how to carry out the conservation of the environment and protect the natural resources. The conference led into the launching of the UNESCO “Man and the Biosphere” program in 1970.

- The Man and the Biosphere program was initiated by the UNESCO in 1972 . It aimed at improving the relation between the man and the environment.

- The concept of Biosphere Reserve was redefined under the MAB (Man and Biosphere) program in 1974.

- In 1983, the first international Biosphere Reserve congress was held in Minsk. The output was that it gave rise to an action plan for Biosphere Reserves.

- It was decided that the action plan should be developed and implemented in cooperation with the important national policies related to the biosphere reserves.

- The Biosphere Reserves from all over the world formed the “World Network of Biosphere Reserves.”

- There are 631 biosphere reserves in 119 countries.

- The statutory framework makes a provision for the periodic review after every 10 years.

Functions of biosphere reserves:

- To contribute to the conservation of species , landscape and ecosystems.

- To foster economic and human development

- To provide support for research and education related to the local, national or international issues of conservation.

Segregation of Biosphere Reserves
The Convention on Biological Diversity which came into force on 29 December, 1993 divided the biosphere reserve into three parts.

- The Core Zone – It is an undisturbed area. It is suitable habitat for many species. No activities that may harm the process of the wildlife is entertained in this area.

- The Buffer Zone – It is near to the core zone. The activities are carried out in such a way that it ensures no disturbance to be caused in the core zone. There is limited tourism, fishing or other activities.

- The Transition Zone – It is the outermost part of the biosphere reserve. It is not a restricted area and thus it includes settlements and cop lands.

- Each biosphere reserve has its own administration to meet the aims and objectives. The management system of the biosphere reserve should be open and should coordinate with local community before taking any decision.

Facts and Figures

- The first global Biosphere Reserve congress was held in Minsk in 1983.

- The Man and Biosphere (MAB) program was initiated by UNESCO in 1972.

- The National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development was launched in 1992.
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