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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Mexico

CALAKMUL

 
       
  General Description   The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, located at the base of the Yucatan Peninsula, is the largest forest reserve in Mexico. It comprises 723,185 hectares of protected land with some 52 ‘ejidos’, or local communities with almost 23,740 inhabitants (2000) in its buffer zone. It is not an untouched forest, as testify the remnants of Mayan cities, abandoned in A.D. 900. It consists of Tropical humid forest ecosystem type covered with Evergreen tropical humid forest, semi-deciduous forest with low temporally flooded forest, thorn forest and tropical deciduous forest. Since 1991, an agro-forestry project sought to offer farmers production alternatives and at the same time to contribute with reforestation. The project has brought together many players: an inter community council with representatives from member communities of the region, the Regional Council of Agro-forestry of Xpujil, scientists and technicians from a number of governmental institutions and NGOs. In five years, 700 hectares of agro-forestry were established in the buffer zone. Agro-forestry was considered a tool for encouraging farmers in Calakmul to put part of their land allocation under forest as an important first step towards expanding tree cultivation within individually managed land areas. One of the basic problems of the area was that forests had been selectively logged by big enterprises in such a way that the local communities could no longer live from these resources. Public services were restricted, without potable water or electric energy. Thus it was necessary to develop a strategy that considered the multiple use of the land with other economic resources in addition to traditional peasant activities. Workshops on community experiences with agro-forestry, organic agriculture, apiculture, and traditional medicine have taken place. In 1999, more than 8,900 tourists visited the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The Regional Council of Agro-forestry of Xpujil develops an important programme on environmental awareness to all communities living in the reserve by its local radio station.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forest (semi-deciduous forest)
  Major habitats & land cover types   Evergreen tropical humid forest; semi-deciduous forest with low temporally flooded forest; thorn forest; tropical deciduous forest; aquatic and hydrophytic vegetation; agroecosystems
  Location   17°45' to 19°15'N; 89°15' to 90°10'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   723,185
  Core area(s)   248,260
  Buffer zone(s)   474,925
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +50 to +380
  Year designated   1993
  Administrative authorities   Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP); Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca (SEMARNAP) Camino al Ajusco 200, 3er piso, Jardines en la Montaña, Tlalpan, C.P. 14210, México, D.F. Tel: caseta (987) 871 60 54 and 871 60 55 Fax: (987) 871 60 15 / (999) 987 05 00 E-mail: calakmul@conanp.gob.mx


Last updated: 3/8/2011

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