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Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador

The Sumaco Biosphere Reserve is located 100 km south-east of Quito in western Napo province. There are numerous watercourses in the area, such as the Suno, Coca, Pitayacu and Pusuno Rivers. The Sumaco Volcano (3,900 meters above sea level) is a rather isolated peak lying to the east of the main Andean Mountain Range. It covers a large variety of ecosystems from the tropical highlands-Andean paramour to the tropical Amazon plains. 

Designation date: 2000


Regional network:  Red de Comités y Reservas de Biosfera de Iberoamérica y el Caribe (IberoMAB) 

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 931,930,080 ha

    • Core area(s): 205,751.55 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 178,629.48 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 548,051 ha

    Location: 00°34'18''S - 77°29'36''W

    Administrative Authorities

    Francisco Prieto
    Director Nacional de Biodiversidad
    Madrid 1159 y Andalucía, Código postal 170517
    Quito, Ecuador

    Tel.: +593-2-398-7600 Ext 1420


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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Biosphere Reserve contains a mosaic of natural areas and areas of agricultural production. The types of soil cover range from non-intervention forests in the core zone to intensive land use, such as cultivation areas in the transition subzone. The types of cover referred to include: Natural forest, intervened natural forest, shrub vegetation, herbaceous vegetation, grasses and crops. 

    The core and buffer zones of the Biosphere Reserve are the main sources for maintaining biological diversity. They contain representative examples of the country's tropical rainforest and the Amazon region; at the same time, they constitute a source of wealth for research, education and maintenance of habitats of singular importance. It is worth mentioning that in the transition zone there are still large areas covered with natural forests that enable their use through the maintenance of traditional practices and the sustainable use of these resources. 



    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The local economy is based on the production of agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa, naranjilla and guayusa with agroforestry systems. In some cases, such as cocoa, efforts have been made to scale up the production chain and production has begun to articulate with important international markets (such as the United States and Europe).






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    Last updated: December 2020