UNESCO’s Award for Gulf of Mannar Park Chief
Context: Recently, IFS officer Jagdish S Bakan won the prestigious Michel Batisse award 2023 for biosphere reserve management from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). About Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management:
- The award is given in memory of Dr Michel Batisse for outstanding achievements in the management of the biosphere reserves in line with the recommendations of the Seville Strategy.
- The Michel Batisse Award only acknowledges completed work accomplished within a Biosphere Reserve in the World Network.
- Applications that are not endorsed by a MAB National Committee or a National Commission for UNESCO are not eligible for consideration.
- First Marine Biosphere Reserve in South and South-East Asia
- Administrative region: Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve (GoMBR), extends between Toothukudi & Ramanathapuram districts; joint declaration of Government of India & Government of Tamil Nadu.
- Global International Designation: UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
- National legal designation: Marine National Park – Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
- Flora and Fauna: Critically endangered Dugong dugon (sea cow), all protected sharks (IWPA, 1972) including whale shark, sea horses, green and hawksbill sea turtles, dolphins and sea cucumbers and several endemic species of Balanoglossus, sea grass, crabs and mangroves.