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India and Maldives get Three new UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

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UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere ReservesOn October 29, 2020, International Coordinating Council (ICC) of UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme included 3 sites to the list of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. They are Panna Biosphere Reserve (Madhya Pradesh) in India, Fuvahmulah Biosphere Reserve (Maldives) and Addu Atoll Biosphere Reserve (Maldives).

The MAB-ICC which met online from 27-28th October, 2020 approved these additions.

Key points:

i.This is the 12th Entry for India, whereas for Maldives it is Second and Third Entries after Baa Atoll.

ii.A total of 25 new sites were added, one of them transboundary, in 18 countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It now has 714 Biosphere reserves in 129 countries around the globe.

iii.Each year New biosphere reserves are designated by MAB Programme’s governing body. It has a rotating elected membership of 35 UNESCO Member States.

Panna Biosphere Reserve (India):

It is located in Madhya Pradesh and is characterized by forests and marshy vegetation, with an abundance of rare medicinal plants, it is also a critical tiger habitat area.

Fuvahmulah Biosphere Reserve (Maldives):

Largest island in the southern part of Maldives, encompasses the entire atoll ecosystem, and most diverse of coral ecosystems in the country with health habitats and unique coral sand beach formations.

Addu Atoll Biosphere Reserve (Maldives):

Addu, the southernmost atoll of the Maldives is one of the most diverse coral reef ecosystems in the Maldives including lagoons, reef passes, seagrass beds, sandbanks, coral islands, lush tropical vegetation, mangroves, wetlands, brackish lakes locally known as kilos, agricultural land and residential areas.

The List of 25 sites can be seen here.

Recent Related News:

i.On February 4, 2020, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay arrived in New Delhi, India on a three-day visit till Feb 6, 2020 to boost strategic partnership in the areas of heritage, education and artificial intelligence.

About UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):

Director-General – Audrey Azoulay

Headquarters – Paris, France