The Bosque Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve corresponds to a hotspot of biodiversity in the continental part of the Mata Atlántica’s biologic corridor. It is a tropical humid forest ecosystem type, which includes low and medium altitude, as well as inundated Atlantic semi-deciduous forests and savannas.
The Bosque Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve is the first one designated in Paraguay. It corresponds to a hotspot of biodiversity in the continental part of the Mata Atlántica’s biologic corridor.
It is a tropical humid forest ecosystem type, which includes low altitude, medium altitude and inundated Atlantic semi-deciduous forests and savannas with palm trees, dry forests, tropical savannah and pasturelands.
More than 16,000 people (2000), including indigenous and local peasants, live in the buffer zone, engaged in agriculture, hunting, logging and fishing, tourism and commerce activities. Only 6% of the population has access to potable water services.
In the transition area more than 96,800 inhabitants live in urban and industrial areas and develop forest exploitation of native forest, regulated by the provincial authorities.
The management and administration of the biosphere reserve is undertaken by a private foundation. The GEF-World Bank project for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in Mbaracayú is being developed in the Bosque Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve since February 2003.
Local populations have been involved in the biosphere reserve project from the start and they are also involved in interdisciplinary research projects on the conservation of natural areas and resources.
Local awareness programs have also been developed to promote management practices for sustainable use of natural resources such as agro-forestry, enrichment of degraded forests, establishment of subsistence cultivation, capacity building, etc.