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Oueme Lower Valley Biosphere Reserve, Benin

The Oueme Lower Valley biosphere reserve is located in south-eastern Atlantic shore of Benin. The biosphere reserve is approximately 850,500 hectares. The site is a biodiversity hotspot hosting   ecosystems of the Dahomey Gap. The biosphere reserve boasts a population of over 2,300,000 inhabitants.

Designation date: 2020


Regional network:  

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 314,300 ha

    • Core area(s): 13,867.80 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 19,917.10 ha 
    • Transition zone(s): 280,515.34 ha

    Location: 6°22'18.3"N; 2°25'33.5"E

    Administrative Authorities

    KIDJO Ferdinand
    Directeur Général du Centre National de Gestion des Réserves
    08 BP 0227 Cotonou

    Tel.: (00229) 21380658 / 211380696

    Email: and

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The biosphere reserve hosts a variety of ecosystems. Within the biosphere reserve there are hydromorphic ecosystems, meadows, marshes, gallery forests and mangroves. These ecosystems are key to preserving the natural ecosystems of the region. The region is divided into four seperate distinct regions: the Coast, the Valley of Ouémé, Pobè, and Plateau.





    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    This biosphere reserve boasts a population of 2,300,000. There are five distinct ethnic groups Goun, Wémè, Xwla, Toffin, and Sètto-Xwla. Traditional fishing is practiced among the Toffin and the Wémè. The plateau region is barren which has pushed a migration to riverside cities such as Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Abomey-Calavi and Sèmè-Podji. Traditional agriculture practices include the growing of corn, sweet potato, cassava, vegetables, macabo, and Taro.




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    Last updated: December 2020