Jagdish Sudhakar, first Indian to receive UNESCO’s Michel Batisse Award

Jagdish Sudhakar, first Indian to receive UNESCO’s Michel Batisse Award

Recently Jagadish Bakan, Wildlife Warden and District Forest Officer (DFO) of Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district has won the 2023 Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Shri Bakan has been selected for the award for his work in the field of better management of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve. The prize money of $12,000 will go to the state government and the Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust.

The award is given for outstanding achievements in the management of biosphere reserves in line with the recommendations of the Seville Strategy.

Seville Strategy:

The Seville Strategy provides recommendations for developing effective biosphere reserves and setting conditions for the proper functioning of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Gulf of Mannar:

  • The Gulf of Mannar is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between eastern India and western Sri Lanka.
  • It is bounded by Rameshwaram Island, Adams Bridge and Mannar Island to the north-east.
  • It is joined by several rivers, including the Tamraparni (India) and the Aruvi (Sri Lanka).
  • This bay is famous for its pearl reserves and conch shells.

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve (GoMBR): 

  • There are a total of 21 islands in the GoMBR that serve as habitats for shorebirds migrating up to the Arctic Circle.
  • It is India’s first marine biosphere reserve.
  • Most of the islands have sand dunes along the coast, dominated by salt-tolerant plant species.
  • Most of the islands have sand dunes with lawn-dominant plant species.
  • Coral, seagrass and mangroves are among the three unique ecosystems present on the islands.

Source – PIB

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