Great Nicobar (India) added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The 25th Session of the International Co-ordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme has added 12 sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Biosphere Reserves are sites chosen by the MAB Programme to experiment with different approaches to the management of terrestrial, marine and coastal resources, and freshwater. They also serve as in situ laboratories for sustainable development.

The new Reserves include Great Nicobar (India), an island that is characterized by tropical wet evergreen forest that is home to 1,800 animal species and to the indigenous Shompen people and the Nicobarese.

This island biosphere reserve, covering 103,870 hectares, is characterized by tropical wet evergreen forest. It is home to 1,800 animal species, including 200 species of meiofauna in the coastal zone. The island is also home to the indigenous Shompen people, semi-nomadic hunters living inland, and the Nicobarese, who are coastal dwellers dependent on fishing and horticulture. The 6,381 inhabitants derive a wide variety of biological resources from their environment such as medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products.