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3rd November 2023 (10 Topics)

Biosphere reserves are evolving as pockets of hope

Context:

Recently, on the second anniversary of World Biosphere Reserve Day, it is important to reflect on the progress made in conserving and sustainably using these vital ecosystems.

Significance of Biosphere Reserves

  • Reserves' Multifaceted Role: UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, like Principe Biosphere Reserve, combat single-use plastic pollution while safeguarding biodiversity and climate resilience.
  • World Biosphere Reserve Day: It highlights their conservation and sustainable use, featuring core, buffer, and transition zones.
  • Act as Climate and Biodiversity Guardians: Biosphere Reserves play a pivotal role in preserving unique ecosystems and endangered species, serving as carbon sinks to combat climate change.

Conservation Efforts

  • Empowering Communities in Sundarban: Sundarban Biosphere Reserve in India showcases local community-led mangrove forest management and biodiversity protection initiatives.
  • Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: engages communities, including women and youth, in conservation and eco-tourism efforts.
  • The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust employs 'plastic checkpoints' to collect and recycle waste for road construction.

Challenges:

  • Threats associated: Biosphere Reserves face threats like deforestation and invasive species due to human exploitation and urbanization.
  • Innovative Measures: The UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme combines natural and social sciences to foster sustainable environmental practices.
  • Way forward: The 10th South and Central Asian Biosphere Reserve Network Meeting (SACAM) in Chennai emphasize knowledge exchange for sustainable practices.
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