5 December 2013
The lowland Mayan forests of northern Guatemala teem with wildlife -- toucans, macaws, howler monkeys, and even the fabled jaguar. This is a forest reborn, as nearly 2,000 years ago it was completely deforested by the ancient Mayan civilization. Nature and time have allowed a second chance for the forest to heal.
But today, the Mayan forest is once again threatened – this time by economic activities such as cattle ranching and agriculture. If destroyed again, it is not likely to come back.
There is hope, however, in forests designated for community use. In these areas, the deforestation rate is 20 times slower than in areas not under the care of local people. These communities practice sustainable harvesting and generate millions of dollars of revenue annually through the sale of certified timber and xate (an ornamental palm frond), benefiting close to 5,000 local people.
Read more from Thomson Reuters here.