The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the Month of May 2013 had declared India's Nicobar Islands as a world biosphere reserve under its Man and the Biosphere Programme.
Such reserves are established by Member countries. The UNESCO basically recognizes them under the programme to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.
The World Biosphere Reserves are considered as sites of excellence, where new and optimal practices to manage nature and human activities are tested and demonstrated.
About Nicobar Island
• The Nicobar Islands are an archipelagic island chain located in the eastern Indian Ocean.
• The island chain is home to 1800 animal species and some of the world's most endangered tribes.
• It is among 12 new sites added to the global network of biosphere reserves in Paris.
• The Nicobar Islands are recognized as a distinct terrestrial ecoregion, the Nicobar Islands rain forests, with many endemic species.
• The Nicobar Islands are part of a great island arc created by the collision of the Indo-Australian Plate with Eurasia.
About World Biosphere Reserve
Biosphere reserves are sites established by countries and recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science. It is a tool tools to help countries implement the results of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and, in particular, the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Ecosystem Approach.
• Such reserves are located in 117 countries and nine of them are now located in India.
• Other sites added to the list include Pakistan's Ziarat Juniper forest and China's Snake Island.
• There are currently 621 biosphere reserves including 12 transboundary sites.
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