Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga biosphere reserve added to UNESCO list

India’s Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, one of the highest ecosystems in the world, has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR). The International Coordinating Council (ICC) of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme, UNESCO, had designated Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve for inclusion in the World Network of Biosphere Reserve in its 30th session, which was held from July 23-27, 2018 at Palembang, Indonesia.

Key Highlights:-

1. The Khangchendzonga reserve will be India’s 11th internationally designated WNBR.
2. With its inclusion in the WNBR list, the reserve joins other Indian biospheres such as Nandadevi, Simlipal, Sunderbans, and Nilgiri.
2. The reserve includes a range of ecoclines varying from subtropical to arctic, as well as vast natural forests in different biomes that support an immensely rich diversity of forest types and habitats resulting in high species diversity and endemism.
4. In total, India has 18 biosphere reserves, among which 11 have been internationally designated WNBR.
5. The remaining seven are domestic designated biosphere reserves and the Indian government is trying for their inclusion in the list as well.

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