Biosphere Reserves are Evolving as Pockets of Hope

In the Island of principle Biosphere Reserves, Sao Tome in Africa, principle and school children are equipped with stainless steel bottle for drinking water, so the daily production and consumption of single use plastic can be completely avoided.

In aid of conservation world Biosphere Day is celebrated on November 3 each year to raise awareness of the importance of Biosphere reserve and to promote their conservation and sustainable use.

In the heart of Biosphere reserve lies the strictly protected core zone providing habitat for flora and fauna and protecting water, air, soil and biota as a whole ecosystem. There is buffer zone surrounding the core zone where people live and work in harmony with nature, zone also functions as a laboratory for scientist to study nature and for training and education. The outermost edge is the transition zone where communities practice socio- cultural and logically sustainable human activities.

It is designated by the UNESCO to promote conservation of biodiversity. Sustainable development, research etc. are also supported by UNDP, UNEP and IUCM. According to UNESCO, there are currently 748 Biosphere reserves across 134 countries, 12 sites can be found in India alone.

Importance of Biosphere Reserve:

They are vital for future of our planet. They are living testament to the resilience of nature, they even amid human activity finds a way to flourish.

They are to wide variety of ecosystem., from tropical rainforest to alpine deserts.

They provide home to countless unique and endangered plants and animal species.

They provide opportunity for sustainable economic development.

They are crucial in our fight against climate change, as they are home to many to world’s carbon sink helping to absorb carbon dioxide from atmosphere.

Role of local communities in conservation:

In the Sunder ban Biosphere Reserve in India local communities are working together in managing Mangrove forests and protect the biodiversity of the region.

In the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve in India local communities including women are contributing towards conservation efforts by forming SHGs, while youth are getting engaged in the eco- tourism. They introduced the concept of ‘plastic checkpoints’ community members check all vehicles and tourists for plastic waste, which is collected recycled and used for construction of reads.

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