A biosphere reserve is a protected area in which multiple use of land is permitted by dividing it into zones, each for a particular activity.
This area is meant for preserving genetic diversity in representative ecosystems (of natural biomes and biological communities) by protecting wild populations, traditional life style of tribals and domesticated plant/animal genetic resources.
Under the programme MAB (Mand and Biosphere) of UNESCO creation of biosphere reserve was initiated in the year 1975.
The number of biosphere reserves established in 94 countries till May 2002 was 408. In India, 18 biosphere reserves have been set up by now (Fig. 8.1). and four of those are recognised as world heritage sites. Nanda Devi, Sunder bans, Nilgiri and Gulf of Manar.