Community Forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

ICCO Cooperation, with the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), works to strengthen the land rights and forest governance of communities that inhabit the Multiple Use Zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. These communities have developed an innovative forest management model to create sustainable livelihoods and also, preserve the forests from wild fires, illegal logging and other threats. This project is financed by CLUA with co-financing from ICCO and other partners.

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  • ID: NL-KVK-56484038-C_005652
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The Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forest (AMPB) evolved as a platform of indigenous territorial governments and community forestry organizations, and its members represent many of the communities that live on the most densely-forested lands in Mesoamerica.

Association of Forest Communities of Peten (ACOFOP), which implements this project, is one of their members; it is a second level institution made up of 23 community organizations that perform community forestry in 400,000 hectares of forest of the Multiple Use Area of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the department of Peten, Guatemala. ACOFOP represents the most successful experience of community forestry in Latin America.

This project furthers their rights agenda to land and sustainable use of natural resources, and has specific measures to improve community forestry practices.

Some of the issues that have been strengthened as part of this project are:

- Community forest-industry integration to optimize efficiency in the use of wood;
- International certification and the opening of markets;
- The identification and the gradual development of complementary production alternatives (natural and cultural-tourism, non-timber management, primarily-resources);
- An increase in the level of monetary income of the participants, an issue that has improved their living conditions.
Community Forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

Target group

15,000 members of the forestry concession in Peten and 80 forest community leaders.


This project addresses the following strategic sustainability issues of ACOFOP and its members:

- Lobby and advocacy on value of community based forestry as part of sustainable management of natural resources; in the Maya Biosphere this is important because forestry concessions need to be renewed.
- Improvement of internal organization, operational systems, financial controls and compliance procedures for better transparency and accountability.
- Continuous improvement of forest community practices including territory control, surveillance,
membership management, outreach and funding.

ACOFOP is part of the AMPB. Being on this regional platform provides them with options to learn and share best practice with similar organizations in Mesoamerica.

Goals overview

- Other (Other)
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