As sanctioned by the UN, May 22 is observed as the World Biodiversity Day.
The theme for this year’s(2023) Biological Diversity day from agreement to action: build back biodiversity. The slogan promotes the idea that, now that we have an action plan agreed upon at a global level, we must implement all the measures that the agreement contemplates before 2030. Only in this way will we be able to obtain protected and sustainable biological diversity by 2050.
The term Biodiversity was first coined by Walter and Rosen in 1985.
70 per cent of the world’s species is found in just 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexio and Peru.
India is a mega diverse nation, housing around 10% of world’s species.Out of the 18 hotspots of diversity recognized in the world, India has two of them: Eastern Himalaya and Western Ghat.
List of Biosphere Reserves of India
The first of India’s reserves to make it to UNESCO’s list was Tamil Nadu’s Niligiri Biosphere Reserve in 2000. Besides this, West Bengal’s tiger-territory Sunderbans, Meghalaya’s Nokrek (home to the red panda) and the Great Nicobar (known for its saltwater crocodiles) have been included in the Network over the years.
|Sl. No||Year||Name||State||Type||Key Fauna|
|1||2008||Great Rann of Kutch||Gujarat||Desert||Indian Wild Ass|
|2||1989||Gulf of Mannar||Tamil Nadu||Coasts||Dugong or Sea Cow|
|3||1989||Sundarbans||West Bengal||Gangetic Delta||Royal Bengal Tiger|
|4||2009||Cold Desert||Himachal Pradesh||Western Himalayas||Snow Leopard|
|5||1988||Nanda Devi||Uttarakhand||Western Himalayas||NA|
|6||1986||Nilgiri BR Reserve||T&N, Kerala Karnataka||Western Ghats||NilgiriTahr, Lion-tailed macaque|
|7||1998||Dihang-Dibang||Arunachal Pradesh||Eastern Himalaya||NA|
|8||1999||Pachmarhi BR||Madhya Pradesh||Semi-Arid||Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel|
|9||2010||Seshachalam Hills||Andhra Pradesh||Eastern Ghats||NA|
|10||1994||Simlipal||Odisha||Deccan Peninsula||Gaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant|
|11||2005||Achanakamar -Amarkantak||Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh||Maikala Hills||NA|
|12||1989||Manas||Assam||East Himalayas||Golden Langur, Red Panda|
|13||2000||Khangchendzonga||Sikkim||East Himalayas||Snow Leopard, Red Panda|
|14||2001||Agasthyamalai BR||Kerala, TN||Western ghats||Nilgiri Tahr, Elephants|
|15||1989||Great Nicobar BR||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Islands||Saltwater Crocodile|
|16||1988||Nokrek||Meghalaya||East Himalayas||Red Panda|
|17||1997||Dibru-Saikhowa||Assam||East Himalayas||Golden Langur|
|18||2011||Panna||Madhya Pradesh||Ken River||Tiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambharand Sloth bear|
Ten of the eighteen biosphere reserves of India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. They are given in ‘bold’ in the above list.( Gulf of Mannar, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Agasthyamalai, Achanakamar –Amarkantak, Simlipal, Pachmarhi, Nilgiri, Nanda Devi, Sundarbans).
Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species – for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes, genes, and DNA-the building blocks of life-determine the uniqueness of each individual and each species. Yet another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them. Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature’s products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions.