Context and Theory of Change
Key elements of context
- The Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) is the most ecologically and archeologically important region of Guatemala and one of the most important conservation areas in the hemisphere.
- It was created in 1990 to improve local livelihoods while conserving biological and cultural heritage.
- The resource rights within the MBR were granted to local communities as part of the settlement of Guatemala’s 36 year civil war in 1996.
- Despite these rights being enshrined in the peace protocols, illegal colonisation, agricultural conversion, drug trafficking and forest fires continued to severely degrade the reserve. This resulted in a loss of basic rights and economic opportunities for the local population.
- Illegal cattle ranches were established with impunity by powerful groups.