The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve is located in the Venezuelan Amazon. Duida-Marahuaca National Park, a national protected area which includes the Duida–Marahuaca Massif, lies within the Biosphere Reserve.
The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve is located in the Venezuelan Amazon. The altitude ranges from zero mainly in the lowland in the plateaux of Casiquiare Canal, up to 3,000 m (9.842 ft) above sea level in the northeastern region (Cerro Marahuaca). It contains tropical rain forest with Ombrofilis wood.
Duida-Marahuaca National Park, a national protected area which includes Cerro Duida, lies within the Biosphere Reserve. The park has an area of 210,000 ha (519,000 acres).
Cerro Duida, also known as Cerro Yennamadi, is a very large tepui. It has an uneven and heavily-inclined plateau, rising from highs of around 1,300 - 1,400 m (4,300 - 4,600 ft) in the north and east to a maximum of 2,358 m (7,736 ft) on its southwestern rim. At its foot lies the small settlement of La Esmeralda, from which the mountain can be climbed.
The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare 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 programs, the need for a culturally sensitive and practicable management plan for the region, and incursion into the region of illegal gold miners.
The Center 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.