Man and the Biosphere Programme



First go through the text (given after the questions) and then attempt the questions.

QUES 1 . Which of the following India’s Biosphere reserves are in UNESCO’S Man and Biosphere list?

1 .  Manas
2 . Great Nicobar
3 . Sunderban
4 . Nokrek
5 . kuchh

Choose the correct option:

a .  1 , 2 , 3 & 5 

b .  2 , 3 & 4

c .  1 , 3 & 5

d .  3 , 4 & 5

Answer – b

QUES . The latest entry to the list of Biosphere Reserves in India under MAB is-

a . Simlipal Biosphere Reserve  

b . Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve 

c . Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

d .  Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve 

Answer – d


It is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.


Launched in 1971 by UNESCO.

MAB – an environmentally sustainable initiative

MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well-being of both human populations and the environment.

Objectives of MAB

1 . Identify and assess the changes in the biosphere resulting from human and natural activities and the effects of these changes on humans and the environment, in particular in the context of climate change.
2 . Study and compare the dynamic interrelationships between natural/near-natural ecosystems and socio-economic processes, in particular in the context of accelerated loss of biological and cultural diversity with unexpected consequences that impact the ability of ecosystems to continue to provide services critical for human well-being.
3 . Ensure basic human welfare and a liveable environment in the context of rapid urbanization and energy consumption as drivers of environmental change.
4 . Promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions, and to foster environmental education for sustainable development.

Structure of Biosphere Reserve under MAB

Biosphere reserves have three interrelated zones that aim to fulfil three complementary and mutually reinforcing functions:

1 . The core area(s) comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.
2 . The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.
3 . The transition area is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable.

World Network of Biosphere Reserves 

Its World Network of Biosphere Reserves currently counts 669 sites in 120 countries all over the world, including 20 transboundary sites.

Biosphere Reserves in India under MAB

Ten of the eighteen biosphere reserves in India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.

The ten biosphere reserves along with their year of entry in MAB List is given below:

1 . Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka (2000)
2 . Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve – Tamil Nadu (2001)
3 . Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve –  West Bengal (2001)
4 . Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve – Uttarakhand (2004)
5 . Nokrek Biosphere Reserve – Meghalaya (2009)
6 . Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve – Madhya Pradesh (2009)
7 . Simlipal Biosphere Reserve – Odisha (2009)
8 . Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve – Great Nicobar (2013)
9 . Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve -Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (2012).

10 .  Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve Kerala and Tamil Nadu 2016.