A Forest Protection Association Emerges

30 years of forest protection in Guatemala


Duration: 3:49

Available in 2 languages

Released: April 2020

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A look back on 30 years since the Mayan Biosphere Reserve was created in 1990. Local communities brought the forest back from the brink with a Forest Protection Association by requesting a concession from the National Council of Protected Areas. the odds were stacked against them, 30 years ago no one believed the community could maintain the Peten forest; it was so remote.

In 2020 it is the largest protected area in Central America. The community forestry model is responsible for the conservation of 70% of the total area of the Reserve. The management of the communities has achieved the rescue of several species of flora and fauna in danger of extinction, the reduction of the deforestation rate to 0.4% and the declaration of a fire-free zone in the concessioned areas.

Now the forest protection is being led by the next generation as they contest to renew the concession for another 30 years.

Film by Ginger Sanchez

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Recognition to Land, Territories and Resources

Communities need ownership over their ancestral land in order to protect forests. With no formal land title traditional communities often face serious conflict when trying to evict illegal loggers, poachers and land grabbers. Who will believe their claims without precise maps and legal title deeds?

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