India: Nicobar islands designated world biosphere reserve

India: Nicobar islands designated world biosphere reserve

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The highly threatened Nicobar islands of India – home to 1,800 animal species and some of the world’s most endangered tribes, has now been designated as a world biosphere reserve.

The island is home to the indigenous Shompen people, semi-nomadic hunters living inland and the Nicobarese, who are coastal dwellers dependent on fishing and horticulture.

Talking about why the Nicobar Islands were chosen, Unesco said, “This island biosphere reserve, covering 103,870 hectares, is characterized by tropical wet evergreen forest. It is home to 200 species of meiofauna in the coastal zone. The 6,381 inhabitants derive a wide variety of biological resources from their environment such as medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products.”

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