To Unesco home page

To sitemap

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

Costa Rica


  General Description   The Agua y Paz (Water and Peace) Biosphere Reserve is characterised by mountain ranges and plains. In the mountainous zones are the volcanoes Miravalles, Tenorio, Arenal, Chato and Platanar, among others, and in the plains area are lakes, flooded forests and swamps, some of which are Ramsar sites, such as Lake Caño Negro.

The reserve is comprised of eight core zones that are protected wildlife areas legally constituted in the country and that are administered through the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC). This agency divides the country into 11 conservation areas, of which three are included in the Agua y Paz Biosphere Reserve, these areas are: the Arenal Huetar Norte Conservation Area (ACAHN), the conservation area of the Arenal-Tempisque Biosphere Reserve (ACAT), and Cordillera Central Volcanic conservation area (ACCVC) .

In addition to this administrative division, Costa Rica is politically divided into Provinces, which are divided into Cantons, and these in turn Districts. The Biosphere Reserve completely covers the cantons of Los Chiles, Guatuso, San Carlos and Alfaro Ruiz, and partly the cantons of Upala, Grecia, Sarapiquí, Tilarán, Cañas, Puntarenas and Montes de Oro.

The estimated population in the territory covered by the Biosphere Reserve is 299 350 people representing about 7% of the total population in Costa Rica. Of this population, the vast majority is considered a rural population.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical Forest
  Major habitats & land cover types   Costa Rica uses Holdridge’s Life Zones classification of ecological zones, in which every area of life represents a distinctive habitat from the ecological point of view, and finally a different lifestyle. The areas of life in the Biosphere Reserve are: premontane rain forest, low montane rainforest, very humid tropical forest, very wet premontane forest, very wet low montane forest and tropical humid forest.
  Location   Sup.:11°05’11.35” latitude N, 84°29’58.59” longitude W
Inf.: 10°8’58.80” latitude N, 84°29’1.01” longitude W
E: 10°29’42.7” latitude N, 83°49’47” longitude W
W: 11°00’16.68” latitude N, 85°18’06.15” longitude W
Central: 10°36’48.29” latitude N, 84°35’54.55” longitude W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   916,120
  Core area(s)   149 959.7
  Buffer zone(s)   338 818.9
  Transition area(s) when given   427 342.1
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   20 - 2200 m
  Year designated   2007
  Administrative authorities  

Last updated: 08/03/2011

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO