UNESCO included Panna in “World network of Biosphere Reserves”.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently included the Panna National Park of Madhya Pradesh under its “World network of Biosphere reserves”. Apart from the Panna National Park, Fuvahmulahand Addu Atoll of Maldives has also been included under the list this year.

Highlights

  • Panna National park was included under the list as a biosphere reserve by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.
  • UNESCO has also described the National Park as a critical tiger habitat and has highlighted that the park is home to the World Heritage site of Khajuraho temples.

Panna National Park

The national park is located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is spread over an area of 542.67 km square. The park was declared as the 22nd Tiger reserve of India and 5th in Madhya Pradesh in the year 1993. It was designated as a Biosphere Reserve on 25 August 2011. Trees like Sal, crocodile bark, Arjun, jamun, etc. are present in the park. Among the animals tiger, leopard, chital, chinkara, nilgai, sambhar and sloth bear are found in the park. It is also the home to more than 200 species of birds such as bar-headed goose, honey buzzard, headed parakeet, king vulture, blossom- changeable hawk-eagle and Indian vulture. The park was declared as one of the Tiger reserves of India in 1994-95.

Concerns

There is a concerns regarding the controversial Ken-Betwa River linking project. The Government of India along with Government of Madhya Pradesh and Government of Uttar Pradesh have planned to link the Ken River with the Betwa River. This also comprises the construction of 283km long Daudhan Dam. The project is aimed at transferring the excess water from Ken basin to Betwa basin. Though, the project would provide water access to the drought prone region of Bundelkhand. But, construction will cause the outpouring of 400 hectares of Panna Tiger reserve. Activists fear that this will affect the population of tigers in the region.

Benefits of inclusion in World Network of Biosphere Reserves?

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves consists of a dynamic and interactive network of sites of excellence. It helps in the integration of people and nature for sustainable development. It tries to integrate both through participatory dialogue, knowledge sharing, poverty reduction and human well-being improvements. It also contributes to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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