1. THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND REMAINS (AMASR) ACT, 1958
News: The 100-metre radius around Centrally protected monuments where construction is prohibited could be replaced with site-specific limits to be decided by an expert committee, as the Union Culture Ministry was working on amendments to the relevant Act, officials say.
About the Act:
The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (or AMASR Act) is an act of parliament of the government of India that provides for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.
It was passed in 1958.
The Archaeological Survey of India functions under the provisions of this act.
The rules stipulate that area in the vicinity of the monument, within 100 metres is prohibited area. The area within 300 meters of the monument is regulated category. Any repair or modifications of buildings in this area requires prior permission.
2. BIOSPHERE RESERVE
News: Black percher or black ground skimmer (Diplacodes lefebvrii), a species of dragon fly, was sighted for the first time in the Seshachalam Hill ranges.
About Black Percher:
Diplacodes lefebvrii is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae known commonly as the black percheror black ground skimmer.
It is a common species native to most all of Africa and southern Eurasia.
It can be found in almost any type of freshwater habitat.
It is a small dragonfly with eyes dark brown above, violaceous below. Its prothorax, thorax, abdomen, and legs are entirely black in full adults; but in sub-adults, some yellow marks on sides of thorax and yellow spots on segments 4 to 8 in abdomen.
About Seshachalam Hills:
The Seshachalam Hills are hilly ranges part of the Eastern Ghats in southern Andhra Pradesh state, in southeastern India.
The ranges were formed during the Precambrian era (3.8 billion to 540 million years ago). Minerals contained in these hills include sandstone and shale interbedded with limestone.
The ranges are bounded by the Rayalaseema uplands to the west and northwest, and the Nandyal Valley to the north.
It has large reserves of red sandalwood which is used in medicines, soaps, spiritual rituals, etc.
About Biosphere Reserves:
Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal/ marine ecosystems. They are multipurpose protected areas where both flora and fauna are protected.
They are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites.’ – promoting research in ecological conservation and environmental preservation.
The concept of Biosphere Reserves was launched in 1971 as a, part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s ‘Man and Biosphere Programme’.
Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme
It is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.
It was launched by UNESCO in 1971.
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 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries
Aim of Biosphere Reserves:
conservation of genetic resources, species, and ecosystems;
scientific research and monitoring; and
Promoting sustainable development in communities of the surrounding region.
Zonation of Biosphere Reserves:
Divided into 3 zones:
Includes protected areas-these act as reference points on the natural state of the ecosystems represented by the biosphere reserves
non-destructive research and other low-impact activities(such as ecotourism) are generally undertaken
Surrounds or is contiguous to the core area.
Activities are organized, so they do not hinder the conservation objectives of the core area, but rather help to protect it.
It is used for cooperative activities compatible with sound ecological practices
Human activities are less intensive than that in the transition zone
Transition Zone or Area of Cooperation:
May contain a variety of agricultural activities, settlements, and other uses and in which local communities, management agencies, scientists, NGOs, and other stakeholders work together to manage and sustainably develop the area’s resources.
The term ‘area of cooperation’ underscores the role of cooperation as the main tool to achieve the objectives of the biosphere reserve.
About Biosphere Reserves in India:
There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India. Of these, 11 are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
First Biosphere Reserve:Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Est. 1986)