Serranía de Manacacías, a new protected area in the heart of Colombia

Posted on 02 December 2023

The new national park extends over 68,000 hectares.
The Serranía de Manacacías National Natural Park, located in Colombia's Orinoquia region, spans over 68,000 hectares and is home to a diversity of ecosystems: seasonal tropical savannas, gallery forests, wetlands, rivers and lagoons, all of which are key to regional ecological connectivity.

The designation of Serranía de Manacacías as a protected area is a significant milestone and it becomes the 61st national natural park in the country. The landscape is home to local communities and families who have maintained a close relationship with this environment and have been a crucial part of the agreements that led to its designation as a protected area.

The strategic location of the Serranía de Manacacías in the Manacacías River basin, which connects the Andean and Orinoquia regions, gives it a fundamental role as a water regulator at both the local and regional levels. The Manacacías hydrographic subzone is considered unique, maintaining a direct hydrological connection with Andean rivers of Meta, and playing an essential hydrological role in the Orinoquia. This is important in a region that has been the subject of agroindustrial and mining projects.

The new Serranía de Manacacías National Natural Park not only enriches the representativeness of the National System of Protected Areas, but also contributes to water connectivity, provision and regulation at the regional level. It is emerging as a place of crucial importance for conservation, research, education and recreation for both national and foreign citizens committed to the preservation of the environment.

This achievement is the result of the collaboration of various stakeholders: the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, the Institute of Natural Sciences of the National University of Colombia, The Nature Conservancy (TNC Colombia), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF Colombia), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Colombia), Cormacarena and the Alliance for the Conservation of Biodiversity, Territory and Culture.

In the Declaration process, WWF Colombia accompanied the social dialogue with residents of the area, the municipal and departmental authorities, and different civil society organizations.

The landscape is part of Herencia Colombia, which was established through an agreement between various entities and public-private organizations. The main objective of this program is to guarantee the conservation and long-term financing of more than 40 million hectares, through the strengthening of the National System of Protected Areas and other conservation strategies. HECO seeks to generate sustainable landscapes as spaces of inclusion and peacebuilding, promoting well-being and human development in the context of climate change.
Rio Manacacias in Colombia. The river is part of Serranía de Manacacías, a new national natural park.
© Luis Bernardo Cano
Parque Nacional Natural Serranía del Chiribiquete, Colombia
© César David Martínez