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Evaluating the effectiveness of control and prevention of forest fires in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala

PRISMA / ACOFOP – June 2017

“The extent and severity of forest fires in Petén during the 2017 dry season mobilized national and international attention amidst fears for the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage contained in the Province, especially in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR). The MBR is home to several endangered and rare species, such as the jaguar and scarlet macaw, as well home to world-renowned Maya ruins. Together with the Mayan Forest of Belize and Mexico, the MBR forms part of one of the largest expanses of tropical forest north of the Amazon, providing significant ecosystem benefits, including climate change mitigation. Despite numerous media accounts depicting widespread forest fires in the Petén, a better understanding of these fires and the contribution of the community concessions is required. The project “Our Lands, Our Forests”, carried out by ACOFOP with funds from the European Union, collaborated with the PRISMA Foundation and other partners to provide a more thorough review of forest fire incidence, which review a highly varied distribution of these events. ”