Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga biosphere reserve added to UNESCO list
India’s Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, one of the highest ecosystems in the world, has been added to UNESCO's list of World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR).
According to a statement issued by the Union Environment Ministry, the International Coordinating Council (ICC) of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme, UNESCO, had designated Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve for inclusion in the World Network of Biosphere Reserve in its 30th session, which was held from July 23-27, 2018 at Palembang, Indonesia.
• The Khangchendzonga reserve will be India's 11th internationally designated WNBR.
• The reserve includes a range of ecoclines varying from subtropical to arctic, as well as vast natural forests in different biomes that support an immensely rich diversity of forest types and habitats resulting in high species diversity and endemism.
• With its inclusion in the WNBR list, the reserve joins other Indian biospheres such as Nandadevi, Simlipal, Sunderbans, and Nilgiri.
• In total, India has 18 biosphere reserves, among which 11 have been internationally designated WNBR.
• The remaining seven are domestic designated biosphere reserves and the Indian government is trying for their inclusion in the list as well.
The park is named after the mountain Kangchenjunga, which with a height of 8,586 metres (28,169 ft), is the third-highest peak in the world.
The Biosphere Reserve is one of the highest ecosystems in the world, reaching elevations of 1, 220 metres above sea-level.
It includes a range of ecolines, varying from sub-tropic to Arctic, as well as natural forests in different biomes, which support an immensely rich diversity of forest types and habitats.
The flora here includes temperate broadleaf, oaks, fir birch, maple and willow.
It also has some 550 bird species including the Tibetan snowcock, blood pheasant, osprey, satyr tragopan, Himalayan griffon, lammergeier, green pigeon, Tibetan snowcock, snow pigeon and Asian emerald cuckoo.