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Biosphere Reserves in India:

What is a Biosphere Reserve?
Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. They are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and nominated by national governments and remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. There are over 500 biosphere reserves in over 100 countries.

What are the main functions of Biosphere Reserve?
Each biosphere reserve is intended to fulfil 3 basic functions, which are complementary and mutually reinforcing:
- a conservation function : to contribute to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation;
- a development function : to foster economic and human development which is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable;
- a logistic function : to provide support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global issues of conservation and development.

List of Biosphere Reserves in India:

List of Biosphere ReserveStateType
Achanakamar - AmarkantakMadhya Pradesh, ChhattisgarhMaikala Hills
AgasthyamalaiKerala, Tamil NaduWestern ghats
Cold DesertHimachal PradeshWestern Himalayas
Dihang-DibangArunachal PradeshEastern Himalaya
Dibru-SaikhowaAssamEast Himalayas
Great Rann of KutchGujaratDesert
Gulf of MannarTamil NaduCoasts
Great NicobarAndaman and Nicobar IslandsIslands
KanchenjungaSikkimEast Himalayas
ManasAssamEast Himalayas
Nanda Devi National Park & Biosphere ReserveUttarakhandWestern Himalayas
NilgiriTamil Nadu, Kerala and KarnatakaWestern Ghats
NokrekMeghalayaEast Himalayas
PachmarhiMadhya PradeshSemi-Arid
PannaMadhya Pradeshcatchment area of the Ken River
SundarbansWest BengalGangetic Delta
Seshachalam HillsAndhra PradeshEastern Ghats
SimlipalOdishaDeccan Peninsula

Out of 18 Biosphere Reserves in India 9 are included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. The list is given below-

List of Biosphere ReserveState
Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere ReserveChhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Gulf of Mannar Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu
Nanda Devi Biosphere ReserveUttarakhand
Nicobar IslandsAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Nilgiri Biosphere ReserveTamilNadu, Kerala, Karnataka
Nokrek Biosphere ReserveMeghalaya
Pachmarhi Biosphere ReserveMadhya Pradesh
Simlipal Biosphere ReserveOdisha
Sundarbans Biosphere ReserveWest Bengal

Objective Questions on Biosphere Reserves in India frequently asked in SSC, CDS, NDA, PSC, Railways and other competitive examinations-
1. In which state Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Tamil Nadu
(b) Meghalaya
(c) Gujarat
(d) Uttarakhand

2. In which state Sunderban Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Gujarat
(b) Madhya Pradesh
(c) Himachal Pradesh
(d) West Bengal

3. In which state Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Kerala, Tamil Nadu
(b) Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
(c) Andhra Pradesh
(d) Karnataka

4. In which state Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Kerala
(b) Tamil Nadu
(c) Karnataka
(d) Andhra Pradesh

5. In which state Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) West Bengal
(b) Assam
(c) Bihar
(d) Sikkim

6. In which state Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Uttar Pradesh
(b) Uttarakhand
(c) Jammu and Kashmir
(d) Himachal Pradesh

7. In which state Simlipal Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Odisha
(b) West Bengal
(c) Madhya Pradesh
(d) Andhra Pradesh

8. In which state Sesachalam Hills Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Tamil Nadu
(b) Kerala
(c) Andhra Pradesh
(d) Karnataka

9. In which state Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Arunachal Pradesh
(b) Assam
(c) Sikkim
(d) Meghalaya

10. In which state Great Rann of Kutch Biosphere Reserve is located?
(a) Rajasthan
(b) Punjab
(c) Haryana
(d) Gujarat

Answers - 1(b), 2(d), 3(a), 4(b), 5(d), 6(b) 7(a), 8(c), 9(a), 10(d).