Agastyavanam Biosphere fails to get UNESCO approval
PARIS, June 9, 2015. The International Co-cordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) has not granted approval for Agastyavanam Biosphere Reserve in India because of Indian Government’s failure to clarify the legal status of buffer area north of the Reserve at its meeting held in Paris on Thursday.

The advisory committee of the Council had recommended approval of the Reserve provided India clarified on the legal status of the buffer which was unclear according to the committee.

The Council approved addition of 20 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, bringing their total number to 651 sites, including 15 transboundary sites, in 120 countries. These included the first Biosphere Reserve of Myanmar-- the Inlay Lake biosphere reserve.

The Man and the Biosphere Programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme set up by UNESCO in the early 1970s with the aim of improving the interaction between people and their natural environment, on a global scale.

Biosphere reserves are places for learning about sustainable development aiming to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with the sustainable use of natural resources. New reserves are designated each year by the International Co-ordinating Council of the Programme.

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