reas rich in biodiversity and encompassing unique and representative ecosystems are identified and designated as Biosphere Reserves to facilitate the conservation of India s immense biological diversity and unique landscapes.
The programme is a pioneering effort at pursuing the increasingly difficult yet urgent task of conserving ecological diversity. The emphasis of the programme is on conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variations; promotion of economic development which is culturally, socially and ecologically sustainable and on providing support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global issues.
Nilgiris was the first biosphere reserve designated in 1986, followed by Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Manas, Sunderbans, Gulf of Mannar, Great Nicobar and Similipal. On July 20, 1997 the Dibru Saikhowa area in Assam, comprising a total area of 765 sq km in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia district in Assam, was designated as a Biosphere Reserve. Out of this, an area of 340 sq km forming Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary was recognised as a core zone and an area of 425 sq km surrounding this was recognised as a buffer zone . The state government has initiated effective management activities with financial support from the Central Government for conservation of this unique ecosystem. On September 02, 1998, the Dehang-Debang area in Arunachal Pradesh, comprising a total area of 5111.5 sq km in Saing and Debang valley in Arunachal Pradesh were designated as Biosphere Reserves. Out of this, an area of 4094.8 sq km was recognised as a core zone and 1016.7 sq km surrounding this was recognised as buffer zone. The state government has initiated the preparation of a detailed management action plan for effective management and conservation of this pristine ecosystem with financial support from the Central Government.