News: UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere(MAB) program has included the Panna Biosphere Reserve to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
- Panna Biosphere Reserve: It is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
- Vegetation: Panna is characterized by forests and marshy vegetation, with an abundance of rare medicinal plants as well as other non-timber forestry products such as Kattha, gum, and resins.
- Significance: It is a critical tiger habitat area and hosts the Panna Tiger Reserve, as well as the World Heritage site of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.
- MAB program: It is an intergovernmental scientific program launched in 1971 by UNESCO to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments.
- Under the program, UNESCO has established the World Network of Biosphere Reserves(WNBR). Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments. If selected by UNESCO, they are included in the WNBR.
- There are 12 biosphere reserves of India which have been recognized internationally under the Man and Biosphere(MAB) Reserve program. These are: 1) Nilgiri(First one to be included) 2) Gulf of Mannar 3) Sunderban 4) Nanda Devi 5) Nokrek 6) Pachmarhi 7) Similipal 8) Achanakmar – Amarkantak 9) Great Nicobar 10) Agasthyamala 11) Khangchendzonga (2018) and 12) Panna(2020).