Quantcast

Wildlife Conservation Society Presents Biosphere Report To President of Guatemala

Wildlife Conservation Society

In a recent ceremony in the National Palace in Guatemala City, staff of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) presented Álvaro Colom Caballeros, president of Guatemala, and other high-level officials with the State of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a report detailing the successes of, and current threats to, the country’s largest protected area.

With the assistance of WCS, the government of Guatemala created the Maya Biosphere Reserve in 1990 to protect the largest swath of tropical forest in Central America. The reserve is larger than Yellowstone National Park and contains a host of charismatic, rare species such as jaguars, howler monkeys, tapirs, harpy eagles, scarlet macaws and others. It is also the locus of the ancient Maya civilization and includes abundant archaeological remains, including famous sites such as Tikal.

“We’re proud to be a part of the ongoing effort to conserve this extraordinary landscape and its myriad natural and cultural wonders,” said Roan McNab, director of WCS’s Guatemala Program. “We still face challenges, but with the help of the government, we’ve made real strides in ensuring the persistence of the reserve for future generations.”

The report describes the state of the reserve and highlights the unprecedented actions taken by WCS and its partners to mitigate the threats faced by the forests while improving the livelihoods of the people who rely on the reserve’s natural resources. Over the past decade, illegal colonization became a paramount threat to the reserve, one that was partially abated with the recovery by the government of more than 118,000 hectares seized by landowners linked with organized crime. WCS supported the removal of 10,000 head of cattle from illegal ranches in the reserve. To prevent these threats from recurring, the government has established 13 new protection and control centers to restrict access to the core of the protected area and has increased multi-institutional patrols with army, police and park guards.

WCS has assisted the government to improve secondary education, health service delivery and water delivery in five communities in the reserve.

“WCS has been partnering with local organizations and governmental agencies to achieve a balance between conservation and development in the Maya Biosphere Reserve,” said Dr. Julie Kunen, director of WCS’s Latin America and the Caribbean Program. “Strategic investments in both will continue to produce tangible benefits for both local people and the natural and cultural wonders of Guatemala.

To access the report, click here.

For more information, click here.

—————

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Ketura Persellin

Global consumption of beef, lamb and goat is expected to rise by almost 90 percent between 2010 and 2050. But that doesn't mean you need to eat more meat. In fact, recent news from Washington gives you even less confidence in your meat: Pork inspections may be taken over by the industry itself, if a Trump administration proposal goes into effect, putting tests for deadly pathogens into the hands of line workers.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kaitlyn Berkheiser

While enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage is unlikely to harm your health, drinking in excess can have substantial negative effects on your body and well-being.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
MStudioImages / E+ / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Backpacking is an exciting way to explore the wilderness or travel to foreign countries on a budget.

Read More Show Less
Tim P. Whitby / 21st Century Fox / Getty Images

The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.

Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.

The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
A protest march against the Line 3 pipeline in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 18, 2018. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Collin Rees

We know that people power can stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the proposed Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline in Minnesota, because we've proved it over and over again — and recently we've had two more big wins.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scientists released a study showing that a million species are at risk for extinction, but it was largely ignored by the corporate news media. Danny Perez Photography / Flickr / CC

By Julia Conley

Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.

Read More Show Less
DoneGood

By Cullen Schwarz

Ethical shopping is a somewhat new phenomenon. We're far more familiar with the "tried and tested" methods of doing good, like donating our money or time.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

Summer is fast approaching, which means it's time to stock up on sunscreen to ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure. Not all sunscreens are created equally, however.

Read More Show Less