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‘Agasthyamala’ included among UNESCO’s new 20 Biosphere Reserves

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Agasthyamala– the biosphere reserve shared by Kerala and Tamil Nadu has been placed in the new 20 Biosphere reserves list released by UNESCO.

Location:  Western Ghats, in the south of India


  • The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR) was established in 2001 and is spread across the two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu
  • The Agasthyamala biosphere reserve includes peaks reaching 1,868 metres above sea level‘Agasthyamala’ included among UNESCO’s new 20 Biosphere Reserves
  • It consists mostly of tropical forests
  • The site is home to 2,254 species of higher plants including about 400 endemic Species
  • A number of tribal settlements with a total population of 3,000 are located in the (Agasthyamala) biosphere reserve

UNESCO’s new list

  • New reserves are designated each year by the International coordinating Council of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which brings together elected representatives of 34 UNESCO Member States
  • The International Co-ordinating Council added the 20 new sites during a two day meeting on Saturday in Lima, bringing the total number of biosphere reserves to 669 sites in 120 countries
  • The newly adopted sites include 18 national sites and one transboundary site shared between Spain and Portugal.
  • The 669 sites includes16 transboundary sites

Biosphere network in India

  • 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 UNESCO’s network