Kerala: Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve in Kerala and Tamil Nadu has hit the hit list of 20 top newer sites added by UN to list of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. International Co-ordinating Council that met in Lima, Peru on 19th March 2016 (Saturday) told that with additions of 20 more animal kingdom numbers totalled of reserves of biosphere shall reach to 669 sites in 120 countries.
This includes 16 trans-boundary sites. Trans-boundary site in 2016 has been shared amongst Spain and Portugal. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is located in Western Ghats in southern India. It has peak inclusion reaching 1868m above sea level. It consists of mostly tropical forests. Site is habitat for 2254 high plant species. It includes nearly 400 which are endemic. This is told by UNESCO.
It is unique reservoir genetically of plants cultivated particularly plantain, cardamom, pepper, jamun and nutmeg. 3 wildlife sanctuaries namely Neyyar, Shendurney, Peppara and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve have been included in sites. UNESCO added. Numbers of settlements tribally with total populations of 3000 people are situated in this reserve of biosphere.
This (ABR) Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve was established in year 2001. Different Indian biosphere included in lists is Great Nicobar, Nilgiris, Sundarban, Nanda Devi, Gulf of Mannar and Nokrek. New reserves of biosphere have been designated by International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and representatives.