One of these activities is bovine cattle raising which is a potential scenario for conserving biodiversity if, and only if, the model implemented is in tune with the particular characteristics of the ecosystems and the relations between landscape components. These factors in turn support the functionality and risk of degradation of the landscape.
In the Orinoquia different types of cattle raising landscapes exist. They differ not only because of their location, but also due to their relation with associated ecosystems. Although the negative impacts of some of these models have been recognized, it is important to identify and value those that are in harmony with biodiversity and thus affect the decisions landowners make in conservation. The bovine cattle raising farms historically present in the flooded savannas and high plains of the Orinoquia have used a "sustainable system" in which there are few animals per hectare and the dynamics of water and biological cycles, along with the movement of the cattle on the territory, have been taken into account. In this way, the farms are compatible with the culture from the Orinoquia and do not cause large transformations in local ecosystems, as the natural and seminatural land covers show. For example, in the high plains the “inclusive savannas1,2”, have co-evolved with cattle raising activities and their presence produces suitable conditions for the appearance or growth of biodiversity.
The management of cattle raising landscapes should be developed in an additive fashion so social and ecological factors of the territory are identified and incorporated. This type of management might generate regional changes that allow for the conservation of current interactions or the creation of new ones, and it is based on local experiences that have low levels of transformation and types of functioning that are environmentally friendly.
This kind of management may have two different approaches. The first is an associative union and community perspective that could use conservation agreements, equity investment funds, or productive and sustainable alliances. The second is an individual strategy that may function through incentives, certifications, and private conservation strategies, among others. In addition, special niche market strategies that recognize the relationship between cattle raising products and biodiversity conservation should be considered.
It is therefore necessary to continue to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by cattle raising in the Orinoquia because energy flows and interactions between the different elements of the system determine its sustainability and guarantee the supply of ecosystem services.