List of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO: Access the Full List here



Biosphere Reserve is an international title given by UNESCO. This title is given to represent the parts of natural and cultural landscapes that extend over a large area of terrestrial or marine ecosystems or a combination of both. Biosphere Reserves are designated to deal with one of the most important issues of conserving biodiversity. Today we will give out the List of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO. 

The Need for Biosphere Reserves

In the current era, the quest for economic and social development is equally important in our world. Thus, Biosphere Reserves are an exciting amalgamation of maintenance of economic and social values along with nature. Biosphere Reserves are special environments for both people and nature. These are the living examples of how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each others’ needs. 

Function of Biosphere Reserves

Every biosphere reserve has to fulfill three harmonizing functions:

  • Conservation function: Biosphere Reserves should conserve genetic resources, species, ecosystems, and landscapes
  • Development function: Biosphere Reserves should promote sustainable human and economic development.
  • Logistic support function: Biosphere Reserves are meant to provide support for research and analysing of the issues of conservation and sustainable development. 

List of Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO

This is how the Biosphere Reserves are distributed across the World:

  • 85 sites in 31 countries in Africa
  • 33 sites in 12 countries in the Arab States
  • 157 sites in 24 countries in Asia and the Pacific
  • 302 sites in 38 countries in Europe and North America
  • 130 sites in 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The list of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO

Biosphere reserves is announced by the Indian state or central governments. The process is long but the final announcement is made by notification. These Governments are empowered to nominate the names under the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme after its establishment as a biosphere reserve. There are 18 biosphere reserves in India. You can find the list of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO below.

No.Name of Biosphere ReserveYear of NotificationLocation (States)
1Nilgiri1986Part of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Madumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley, and Siruvani hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka).
2Nanda Devi1988Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar districts (Uttarakhand).
3Nokrek1988Part of Garo Hills (Meghalaya).
4Great Nicobar1989Southernmost islands of Andaman And Nicobar (A&N Islands).
5Gulf of Mannar1989The Indian part of the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka (Tamil Nadu).
6Manas1989Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamprup, and Darang districts (Assam).
7Sunderbans1989Part of the delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system(West Bengal).
8Simlipal1994Part of the Mayurbhanj district (Orissa).
9Dibru-Saikhowa1997Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts (Assam).
10Dehang-Dibang1998Part of Siang and Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.
11Pachmarhi1999Parts of Betul, Hoshangabad, and Chindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh.
12Khangchendzonga2000Parts of Khangchendzonga hills and Sikkim.
13Agasthyamalai2001Neyyar, Peppara, and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries and their adjoining areas in Kerala.
14Achanakamar –    Amarkantak2005Covers parts of Anupur and Dindori districts of M.P. and parts of Bilaspur districts of Chhattishgarh State.
15Kachchh2008Part of Kachchh, Rajkot, Surendra Nagar, and Patan Civil Districts of Gujarat State.
16Cold Desert2009Pin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh.
17Seshachalam Hills2010Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh.
18Panna2011Part of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya Pradesh.

List of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO Protection

Recently, Panna Biosphere Reserve was also included in the List of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO Protection. The status was given in the year 2020. Before that, the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve from India was also included in this list in 2018.

The List of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO Protection is given below along with the year they were recognized in.

2000Nilgiri Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu
2001Gulf of Mannar Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu
2001Sundarbans Biosphere ReserveWest Bengal
2004Nanda Devi Biosphere ReserveUttarakhand
2009Pachmarhi Biosphere ReserveMadhya Pradesh
2009Nokrek Biosphere ReserveMeghalaya
2009Simlipal Biosphere ReserveOdisha
2012Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere ReserveChhattisgarh
2013Great Nicobar Biosphere ReserveGreat Nicobar
2016Agasthyamala Biosphere ReserveKerala and Tamil Nadu
2018Kanchenjunga Biosphere ReservePart of North and West Sikkim districts
2020Panna Biosphere ReserveMadhya Pradesh

Upcoming Biosphere Reserve in India

The Odisha State Government has made a proposal to give the status of Biosphere Reserve to Mahendragiri Hill Complex. If it becomes a biosphere reserve, Mahendragiri Hill Complex will be Odisha’s second Biosphere Reserve after Similipal Biosphere Reserve. 

UNESCO is promoting the peaceful amalgamation of human and nature for sustainable development. Biosphere Reserves are a part of the same. Keep reading our articles to get more such information on current affairs and ace your exam!

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List of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO – FAQ

Where can I get the list of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO?

You can access the full list of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO in this article with details.

Which is the latest addition to the list of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO Protection? 

Panna Biosphere Reserve is the latest addition to the list of Biosphere Reserves in India under UNESCO Protection. 

Which is the Upcoming Biosphere Reserve in India? 

Mahendragiri Hill Complex is the Upcoming Biosphere Reserve in India.

How many UNESCO biosphere reserves are in India? 

There are 18 UNESCO biosphere reserves in India. 

What are the major functions of the biosphere reserves?

There are three major functions namely the Conservation function, Development function, and Logistic support function.