UNESCO announces Panna Tiger Reserve as a global biosphere reserve

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has declared Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) based in Madhya Pradesh as a part of the global network of biospheres, according to an official report.

Prakash Javdekar, the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate change, has congratulated the PTR authorities and officials in a social media post for their efforts and hard work in conservation of the tigers. Along with the message, Javdekar also posted a 50 second video of the tigers residing in the reserve.

The UNESCO’s recognition mentioned PTR as a critical tiger reserve. The UNESCO stated, “The area has undergone substantial ecosystem restoration in the buffer zone. With only three urban centres and over 300 villages, agriculture is the main source of income together with horticulture, forestry and cultural and eco-tourism.”

Alok Kumar, who is currently the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), (wildlife) MP said, “PTR was notified as a biosphere reserve by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC ) in 2011 and after nine years the UNESCO included it in the Man and Biosphere programme.”

Kumar further added, “It’s a proud moment for us because the MP forest department did a lot of hard work to create a conducive environment in PTR to reintroduce the population of tigers. In 2008, PTR had lost all its tigers. The forest department had reintroduced a male and a female tiger in 2009 and within a decade the animal’s population increased to over 50.”

“Local villages also played a key role in conservation. Panna Nature Club authorities tried to sensitise local villagers about PTR’s vegetation and wildlife. The villagers responded in a positive manner and the landscape did not report a single man-animal conflict through the years,” Alok Kumar further added.

Though, he mentioned the incidence of poaching, which was the concern pertaining to tigers, as very recently, a tiger was killed due to poaching.

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