IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


8th June, 2023 Environment

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  • For year 2023 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) award, Michel Batisse Award, will be received by Director of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park for his efforts in Biosphere Reserve Management.
  • He will also present his case study during award ceremony in Paris, France on June 14.


  • In management and monitoring of this reserve there were many challenges.
  • However support State government’s Marine Elite Force helped him in managing this park.
  • Jagdish Bakan is a Wildlife Warden and District Forest Officer of Ramanathapuram district.
  • His work includes community development, community-based ecotourism, and rescuing marine animals with the help of locals.
  • He also took an initiative of plastic check post to beat the plastic pollution in area and uses profits from ecotourism for conservation and the community.
  • A case study will be presented by him at the 35th session of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Reserves Programme (MAB)
    which will be held in Paris from June 12 to 15.

Michel Batisse Award

  • This is a The $12,000 reward given by UNESCO every two years during the MAB Council.
  • It is given for outstanding achievements in the management of biosphere reserves in line with the recommendations of Seville Strategy.
  • This award was instituted in memory of Dr Michel Batisse.
  • The amount of this award will go to the State government and the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust.

Seville Strategy

  • In March 1995, at an international conference held in Seville, Spain, several recommendations were made for the actions for Biosphere Reserves. These recommendations were termed as Seville Strategy.
  • This strategy recommends preserving and managing biosphere reserve in a scientifically correct way.
  • By assuring economic and social development, it advocates to generate natural and cultural values which are culturally creative and operationally sustainable.
  • It has various goals as listed below
    • Use Biosphere Reserves to Conserve Natural and Cultural Biodiversity
    • Utilize Biosphere Reserves as Models of Land Management and of Approaches to Sustainable Development
    • Use Biosphere Reserves for Research, Monitoring, Education and Training
    • Implement the Biosphere Reserve Concept

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

  • It was declared as a Marine National Park in 1986 by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • Later in 1989, it was declared as a Marine Biosphere Reserve of India by the Government of India.


  • Considered first marine biosphere reserve in South Asia, It is situated in Coromandel coast in India spread across an area of 560 sq. kms covering coasts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu.
  • It Comprising 21 islands including estuaries, beaches and mudflats.

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Bio Diversity

  • With more than 4000 species of various flora and fauna, it is one of the richest regions on Earth and includes sea cucumber, birds, sea turtles, crustaceans and several species of fish like dolphins, whales.
  • It also has variety of algae communities, 11 species of sea grasses, 117 species of hard coral, salt marshes and mangroves.
  • It is also a home to critically endangered Dugong dugon (sea cow), all protected sharks (IWPA, 1972), sea horses, green and hawksbill sea turtles, dolphins and sea cucumbers and several endemic species of Balanoglossus.


  • Habitat destruction of coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves
  • Over-harvesting of marine resources
  • Potential localized landbased marine pollution
  • Inappropriate bottom trawling practices

Biosphere reserves

  • These are protected areas for the conservation of Nature – flora and fauna, and traditional tribal life with an aim to conserve biodiversity and sustainable development.
  • These are considered learning places for sustainable development and testing cites interdisciplinary approaches in management of ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • It has a Core Area, Buffer and Transition Zone.

Man and the Biosphere Reserves Programme (MAB)

  • It is an intergovernmental scientific programme initiated by the UNESCO in 1971.
  • It has objectives to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments.
  • While promoting biological and cultural diversity, it strives to ensure basic human welfare and a liveable environment so that ecosystems continue to provide services critical for human well-being.
  • It may represent terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems and promotes the sustainability of Biosphere reserves across the world.

List of Biosphere Reserves in India (Total 18)

  • Similipal, Odisha
  • Sundarban, West Bengal
  • Nokrek, Meghalaya
  • Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu-Kerala
  • Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu
  • Nanda Devi, Uttrakhand
  • Agasthyamala, Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala
  • Great Nicobar, Andaman & Nicobar Island
  • Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
  • Achanakmar-Amarkantak, (Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh)
  • Khangchendzonga, Sikkim
  • Panna, Madhya Pradesh
  • Seshachalam, Andhra Pradesh
  • Dibru-Saikhowa, Assam
  • Cold Desert, Himachal Pradesh
  • Dehang-Debang, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Manas, Assam
  • Kachchh, Gujarat

From the above 12 biosphere reserves are recognized under Man and Biosphere Reserve programme of UNESCO which are marked in bold.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

  • It is a specialized agency of United Nations, founded in 1945, which is Headquartered in Paris.
  • It has an aim to restore, reconnect with, and revive our natural world. It does so by accelerating efforts to protect and preserve the web of life that sustains us. It includes preservation of cultural and natural heritage.
  • One of other objective is to promote peace globally through cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.


Consider the below statements about Man and Biosphere Reserve programme of UNESCO:

1. Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserves is a part of this programme.

2. It is a scientific programme initiated by the UNEP for the conservation of nature.

Which of the above statements is/are true?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer: (a)