Between 2004 and 2009, the Foundation for Ecodevelopment and Conservation, FUNDAECO, set up a “protected areas management model” with a strong participation of Q’eqchi’ Indians, along with income generating activities and activities for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources and for ecotourism.
The project aims to extend and adapt these innovations to new contexts on 11 sites and in 3 regions in the country: Huehuetenango, Izabal and the north of Petén.
In these 3 regions, it addresses two fundamental issues:
- The conclusion of negotiated and equitable agreements between Indian communities, municipalities and the State on the management methods for the spaces and resources of protected areas and on the economic compensation for restrictions on access to resources.
- The sustainability of initiatives to protect natural resources and biodiversity, an especially crucial problem as some international financing is not renewed.
- The 11 sites cover a surface area of 250,000 hectares, inhabited by some 7,000 families from 140 villages. The project aims to improve the protection and restoration of 140,000 hectares of forests on the sites, and including the preservation of Maya archaeological sites in the Petén region.
- Develop, involving representatives of these villages, three municipalities and seven local farmers’ and Indian organizations and the participation and management bodies in order to improve the local governance of these protected areas.
- More directly reach 40% of these villages and 16% of families in the actions for the promotion of ecotourism, forest development and monitoring and agricultural development.
- Consolidation of the development of 140,000 hectares, on the 11 sites in the country, with the aim of protecting and storing carbon or sustainably developing forests.
- Development of 13 eco-tourism sites in 7 protected areas (infrastructure, training, promotion and sale of tourism products, etc.) to receive tourists and offer them quality services, providing villagers with incomes.
- Promotion of a transition towards more ecological agriculture in protected areas.
- Consolidation and testing of various co-management mechanisms for protected areas with local communities in order to learn lessons on the way in which the national policy needs to be developed.
on the same region