top of page
Serra do espinhaço



Year of Creation

The identity of the Espinhaço mountain range can be contemplated through cultural expressions, academic publications, government actions and sustainable development trends. Here, several thematic groups were formed in different areas, yielding results based on a more collaborative and systemic view of opportunities, problems, and solutions.

Espinhaço is very water-rich and hosts the main Brazilian river basins that flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It contains the Caatinga, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, which are of great importance for the conservation of biodiversity.

Its flowering grassland vegetation, known as Rupestrian Fields, thrives on flat, rocky, or sandy soils in high-altitude areas intersected by rivers and exuberant waterfalls. These ecosystems are made up of a rich array of plant communities that strongly rely on topography, substrate, and microclimate, being relatively unknown due to their megadiversity. Current floristic studies estimate that there are between 2,000 and 3,000 species with a 30% endemic rate, with around 350 species on the verge of extinction. It is an extremely vulnerable ecosystem with very low resilience, and due to its uniqueness and complexity, several attempts have been made to classify the Rupestrian Fields as a new type of Brazilian biome.

This region is one of the most heavily mined in the world; and it is also characterized by large-scale ranching, subsistence agriculture and plant extraction. Between 2005 and 2015, 168 large enterprises signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Government of Minas Gerais, setting up operations in municipalities within the Reserve. These enterprises cover a wide range of production chains such as mining, metallurgy, textiles, cellulose and paper, electronics, chemicals, biotechnology, renewable energies, food, agribusiness, coffee, commerce, tourism, among others.

Tourism (ecological, cultural, historical, and religious), for example, has shown positive and steady growth rates over recent years, consolidating itself as an economic sector of great importance for the state of Minas Gerais and the Biosphere Reserve.

Beyond the influence of large and medium-sized ventures, it is important to recognize the activities carried out by local communities, especially those associated with sustainable management strategies and plans, such as community-based tourism, ecotourism in protected areas, family farming, traditional fishing and the sale of native biodiversity products, handicrafts, and sustainable gastronomy. These local activities favour the socio-economic dynamics of Espinhaço, generating new revenues for the population.






Rede Brasileira de Reservas da Biosfera   

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
bottom of page