| The International Coordination Council (ICC) of the MAB programme introduced the designation ‘Biosphere Reserve’ for natural areas in its first meeting held in Paris during November, 1971. Future functions of BRs were given concrete shape in MAB Project area of “Conservation of natural areas and of the genetic material they contain” (UNESCO, 1972). The concept of Biosphere Reserves was refined by a Task Force of UNESCO’s MAB programme in 1974, and BR network was formally launched in 1976. At the 12th session of ICC held in Paris from 25 to 29 January 1993, following five priority areas were identified to enable BRs to implement results of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held at Rio de Janerio in June 1992:
- Conservation of biological diversity and ecological processes
- Development of sustainable use strategies
- Promotion of information dissemination and environmental education
- Establishment of a training structure
- Contribution to the establishment and implementation of Global environmental monitoring system
|MAB is primarily a programme of research and training and seeks scientific information to find solution of concrete practical problems of management and conservation. MAB's field projects and Biosphere Reserves constitute the main goal of the whole programme.
The Indian National Man and Biosphere (MAB) Committee identifies and recommends potential sites for designation as Biosphere Reserves, following the UNESCO’s guidelines and criteria. A total of 631 BRs in 119 countries have been designated in the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). In India, 18 Biosphere Reserves have been established and 9 BRs are included in the WNBR. In Madhya Pradesh there are 3 BRs viz., Pachmarhi (1999), Achanakmar-Amarkantak (2005) and Panna (2011) BRs have been notified by MoEF, GoI. Achanakmar-Amarkantak BR is an example interstate BR. Its 68.10% area falls in Chhattisgarh and remaining 31.90% area falls in Madhya Pradesh. Out of the 3 BRs Pachmarhi and Achanakmar-Amarkantak BRs have been included in the UNECO’s WNBR.