To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Alto Orinoco - Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve is located in the Venezuela Amazon. The altitude ranges from zero mainly in the lowland in the plateaux of Casiquiare Canal, up to 3,000 meters above sea level in the northeastern region (Cerro Marahuaca). It contains tropical rainforest with Ombrofilis wood. The biosphere reserve has a population of approximately 150,000 inhabitants (1991), of which less than 10% constitutes indigenous groups. The primary aim of the biosphere reserve (which was created in 1992) is to secure the ancestral homelands and traditional lifestyles of Yanomami and Ye’kwana indigenous peoples. Challenges and problems include the opposition of some local residents towards protected areas and the prohibition of mining and logging activities, the lack of effective mechanisms and technical experience for conservation and development programmes, the need for a culturally sensitive and practicable management plan for the region, and incursion into the region of illegal gold miners. The Centre for Environmental studies of the Main University of Venezuela with the Department of Territorial Economical and Social Analysis develop a model for territorial management in the “Upper Orinoco” region, able to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the environment. Education activities, technical assistance and research, and recognition of local and cultural practices are also being developed.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forests
  Major habitats & land cover types   Lower montane rainforest dominated by genera such as Clusia, Brocchinia, Ananas and Pitcairnia; semideciduous rainforest with Pourouma guianensis, Brownea ariza, Alexa superba, Cupania scrobiculata etc.; Amazonian caatinga dominated by Eperua purpurea and with E. leucauta falcata, Peltogyne caatingae and Aldinia discolor; lowland rainforest; palm forest characterized by Jessenia bataua and Leopoldonia piassaba; rivers; agroecosystems with yuca, musaceas, túpiro (Solanum sessiliflorum), Pijiguao (Bactris gasipaes), Ñame (Dioscorea spp.) etc.
  Location   00°30' to 04°40'N; 62°45' to 66°34'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   8,266,230
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +100 to +3000
  Year designated   1993
  Administrative authorities   Dirección Estadal Ambiental Amazonas, Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales
  Brief description   Hydrological cycles
Biodiversity and population dynamics
Natural resource management
Creation of the Amazonian Centre for Environmental Research Alejandro de Humboldt (CAIAH)
Management and use regulation plan (under elaboration)
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Hydrology.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, natural resources, population genetics/population dynamics.
  Socio-economic   Traditional practices/Ethnology/Traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Land use/Land cover, management issues, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Jesús Manzanilla
Reserva de Biosfera Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare
Ministerio de Ambiente
 Puerto Ayacucho. Edo. Amazonas

Last updated: 02/04/2011

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO