For more than two decades we have worked to develop a sustainable and comprehensive forest management model, through which successful companies have been created in the certified timber market, as well as in the commercialization of non-timber forest products, such as palm of xate, honey, chewing gum and Ramón seed. As part of the forestry model, ACOFOP also ventures into the tourism sector through the provision of guidance services in the different heritage sites.
These activities guarantee the conservation of forests, biodiversity and archaeological sites in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and also provide communities with the necessary tools to generate new sources of income, improve their quality of life and contribute to the local and national development.
With the signing of the Paris Agreement, negotiated during the XXI Conference on Climate Change (COP21), Guatemala vowed to take part in the global effort to stop the increase in global temperatures. Deforestation and forest degradation generate about half of the greenhouse gas emissions in Guatemala, therefore, the work we do is essential for the country to meet global goals; because the community forestry model is not only responsible for the conservation of 70% of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, but also contributes, in its areas of action, to the rescue of endangered species, the reduction of the rate of deforestation and the control and management of forest fires.
Our Guatercabon project, developed jointly with the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), carries out effective actions for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
Hundreds of hectares of forest burn in Petén every year due to forest fires intentionally started to clear land for activities that endanger the Mayan Forest, such as illegal cattle raising and drug trafficking, among others. However, thanks to the monitoring and control work carried out by the communities, we have been able to declare the areas we care for as free from fires.
To maintain this record we make an annual investment of more than Q3 million, with which we carry out more than 1,000 control and surveillance missions. Our Community Monitoring Network maintains more than 500 kilometers of firebreakers.
We combine state-of-the-art technology such as drones, geographic location systems and satellite information with territorial control and surveillance mechanisms to fight forest fires.
Community tourism is an ally in the sustainable forest management of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, as well as an economic alternative for the communities
As part of our community forestry model, we promote and consolidate tourism management as an economic alternative to improve the quality of life in the communities. Community tourism in the context of forest management areas is also an added-value instrument for the conservation and protection of biodiversity, the archaeological sites and the Mayan living culture.
Tourism complements forestry activities and has opened a new field of possibilities for economic diversification for communities, where tourism businesses are managed mainly by young people and women.
Guatecarbon is a project for the reduction of emissions in the Multiple-Use Zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala
Based on mechanisms established by the United Nations REDD+ program, Guatecarbon is an ACOFOP project created to mitigate climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. The objective of this program is to support actions that promote the diversification and maintenance of income sources for the local population, while reducing deforestation rates and protecting biodiversity.
The Community Company of Forest Services, FORESCOM, was founded in 2003 with the objective of promoting and seeking market opportunities, adding value to timber and non-timber products from community-managed areas.
FORESCOM offers certified wood products, as well as technical and marketing services to local communal organizations.
All products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and have the Rainforest Alliance seal, because they comply with global quality standards that guarantee the sustainability of the natural resources managed by the community forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.