UNESCO declares Panna Tiger Reserve a biosphere reserve


  • Recently, Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh (MP) was included in the global network of biosphere reserves by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

    Panna Tiger Reserve
    Representational Image.

Key Details

  • The UNESCO’s recognition cited PTR as a critical tiger habitat. “The area has undergone substantial ecosystem restoration in the buffer zone. With only three urban centres and over 300 villages, agriculture is the main source of income together with horticulture, forestry and cultural and eco-tourism.

About Panna Tiger Reserve

  • Panna Tiger Reserve was notified as a biosphere reserve by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC ) in 2011 and after nine years the UNESCO included it in the Man and Biosphere programme.
  • Covering an area of approx 542.67 sq km, the thick deciduous forest of the Panna National Reserve is the natural habitat of sloth, Indian wolf, Bear Pangolin, Leopard, Gharial, Indian fox and a lot more.
  • While visiting the park, tourists also get to witness stone carvings that date back to the Neolithic era.
  • The Panna National Park got the status of Project Tiger Reserve 13 years after its formation in 1981.
  • Report by the All India Tiger Estimation made Madhya Pradesh the state with the highest number of tigers.
  • The state had a total of 526 big cats according to 2018 census. After Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand have the highest number of tigers.
  • Panna Tiger Reserve became the 3rd Biosphere Reserve of Madhya Pradesh after Pachmarhi and Amarkantak.
  • Located in the Panna and Chhatarpur (2) districts
  • Situated in the Vindhya mountain and Ken River flows through the reserve
  • Became 12th internationally designated WNBR in India.

Key Fact

  • There are currently 701 biosphere reserves across the world, located in 124 countries, which form the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve became the 1st BR from India to be included in the WNBR.

About Biosphere Reserves:

  • 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.
  • They are sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity.
  • Collectively, biosphere reserves form a World Network. Within this network, exchanges of information, experiences and personnel are facilitated.
  • Biosphere Reserves are designated under the intergovernmental MAB Programme by the Director-General of UNESCO. Their status is internationally recognized.

Main functions of Biosphere Reserves:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
  • Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable
  • Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training

Biosphere Reserves’ three main zones

  • Core Area: strictly protected zone
  • Buffer Zones: adjoins the core area(s), sound ecological practices
  • Transition Area: communities foster socio-culturally

Source: Hindustan Times

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