India is a country of spectacular biodiversity.India protects this mega-diversity through many Biosphere Reserve,National Park,Wildlife Sanctuary etc. In this article we will discuss the topics in detail.Let’s learn.
Before we jump into Biosphere Reserve,National Park,Wildlife Sanctuary etc let’s learn about protected area.
Protected areas can be defined as an area where human occupation or the exploitation of natural resources like Carbon stocks, rain forests etc are restricted or limited.
Protected area also includes
- Some area of ocean or lake or other water bodies.
- Trans-boundary Protected Areas that is overlapped in between multiple countries.
Protected areas are further classified into several categories depending on the level of protection with regard to the enacted laws of concerned country or the guidelines of the international organizations involved.
- National Park
- Wildlife Sanctuary
- Conservation Reserve
- Community Reserve
Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems a combination of both.Biosphere reserves are the sites declared by various countries and recognized under UNESCO’s man and biosphere programme.
- Biosphere reserves balance economic and social development.
- Biosphere reserves promote cultural values along with the preservation of nature.
- Biosphere reserves are the symbol of co-existence of people and nature.
- Biosphere reserves are used for scientific research and monitoring.
- Encourages sustainable development among the communities of the region.
- Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme launched by UNESCO in 1971
- The programme is focused to establish a scientific basis of relationships between human and environments.
- World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) was formed under Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
- The names of Biosphere reserves are nominated by various countries. If selected by UNESCO, they are included in the WNBR.
There are three zone of Biosphere reserve
- Core is the protected area where no human activity are allowed. It is undisturbed and legally protected area.
- Buffer Surrounds the core area.Cooperative educational activities and environmental research are allowed in this region. Eco-tourism are allowed in this region. Safari zone are allowed up to Buffer zone.
- Transition zone is the area which allow variety of sustainable agricultural activities,human settlements are allowed and scientists,NGOs can work together to manage and explore the area’s biological resources.
There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India.
|Biosphere Reserves and Focused Fauna||State|
|Cold Desert-Snow Leopard||Himachal Pradesh|
|Nanda Devi-Asiatic black Bear, snow Leopard, brown Bear||Uttrakhand|
|Dehang-Debang-Mishmi takin, red Goral, musk deer,red Panda||Arunachal Pradesh|
|Manas-Golden langur and red panda||Assam|
|Khangchendzonga-Snow Leopard,red Panda||Sikkim|
|Panna-Tiger,Chital,Chinkara,Sambhar and Sloth Bear||Madhya Pradesh|
|Pachmarhi-Giant and flying Squirrel||Madhya Pradesh|
|Kachchh-Indian wild Ass||Gujarat|
|Similipal-Gaur,Royal Bengal Tiger,wIld Elephant||Odisha|
|Seshachalam-Slender Loris and Pangolin||Andhra Pradesh|
|Sundarban-Royal Bengal Tiger||West Bengal|
|Agasthyamala-Nilgiri Tahr,Elephants||Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala|
|Gulf of Mannar-Dugong or Sea cow||Tamil Nadu|
|Nilgiri –Nilgiri Tahr,lion tailed Macaque||Tamil Nadu-Kerala-Karnataka|
|Great Nicobar-Saltwater Crocodile||Andaman & Nicobar Island|
- An area can be defined by the state government as a National Park, by its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological or zoological association or importance, which is needed to be protected for the development of wildlife and the environment around.
- National parks in India are listed under IUCN category II protected areas.
- Activities like hunting, grazing, forestry or cultivation are strictly prohibited inside the national parks.
- No human activity other than permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state, is not allowed.
Marine National Parks in India
- Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park in Gujarat.
- Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park in Andaman Islands.
- Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park in Tamil Nadu.
- Rani Jhansi Marine National Park in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Any area other than reserve forest or the territorial water body can be designated as a sanctuary by the concerned state government if such area is of significant ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological importance,which is needed to be protected for the development of wildlife and the environment around.
|National Park||Wildlife Sanctuary||Biosphere Reserve|
|1.Full habitat is protected||A species is protected||Entire Ecosystem is protected|
|2.Boundaries are circumscribed by legislation||Boundaries are sacrosanct or inviolable||Boundaries are circumscribed by legislation|
|3.Limited biotic interference||Limited biotic interference||No biotic interference except the buffer zone|
|4.Tourism is allowed||Tourism is allowed||Tourism is not but Eco-Tourism is allowed up to buffer zone.|
|5.Research and Scientific culture is not focused||Research and Scientific culture is not focused||Research and Scientific culture is managed|
|6.Gene Pool and conservation is not carried out.||Gene Pool and conservation is not carried out.||Gene Pool and conservation is carried out.|
Conservation reserves and community reserves are the areas completely owned by Government of India and these areas act as migration corridors between existing national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and protected forests areas of India.
- The Government of India enacted the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972 to protect the wildlife within the country and to curb and restrict poaching, smuggling and illegal trade in various protected areas across the country.
- A National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has been established in 1952. NBWL is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. NBWL was set up for a policy framework for wildlife conservation in the country.The NBWL operates under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
The National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) was launched in 2002. The National Wildlife Action Plan encourages the people’s participation and support for wildlife conservation. The National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) also formulates a policy that links wildlife planning to climate change.
The subject of forests and wildlife is included in the concurrent list of the Indian Constitution,drawing the responsibility of wildlife conservation on both the Centre and the State.
- Various Projects focused on specific species were launched like Project Tiger (1973) ,Operation Crocodile (1975), Project Rhinoceros (1987), Project Elephant (1988) Project Snow Leopard (2009)
Some Current Affairs on National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in 2020
- Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam is in news due to a well of Oil India Limited had blown out and a massive fire engulfed the area killing and affecting the flora and fauna of the region.
- Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha is in news as census result cited that the population of salt water (or estuarine) crocodiles have increased.
- Manas National Park in Assam is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. It is a Project tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve.India, Bhutan, Nepal will jointly work on a trans Border Conservation Park. The park will be an extension of Manas National Park.
- Eravikulam National Park in Idukki, Kerala. At least 18 persons were killed and 52 others are missing in a landslips at Pettimudy, near Eravikulam National Park.
- Assam government will convert the Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary to national park.
- Kaziranga National Park in Assam is famous for One-horned rhino.
- The Uttarakhand govt has already cleared diversion of 70 hectares of forest land area in the Gangotri National Park for construction of strategically important roads up to China border.
- Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu is in news as rejuvenation camp for elephants was started.
- An environment clearance was approved to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train corridor or the ‘bullet train project’ which will pass through the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai,Maharashtra.
- Sariska Wild life Sanctuary is in news as Dekho Apna Desh webinar was titled ‘Destination- Sariska Tiger Reserve’ was launched in Rajasthan.