Case Study: The Association of Forest Communities of Petén

NYDF Global Platform All Topics Alternative Forest Livelihoods Case Study: The Association of Forest Communities of Petén

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    Kelly CannonKelly Cannon

    The Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP), an Equator Prize winner, oversees the biggest certified forest area under community management. The goals of the association include conserving cultural values, protecting natural biodiversity, and improving the lives of community members in the area through provision of new sources of income.

    The Maya Biosphere Reserve in the tropical rainforest, Selva Maya, provides a critical watershed for locals and serves as a significant carbon sink for the world. The creation and management of forest concessions in this area by ACOFOP encourages responsible conservation of rich forest biodiversity. It also provides alternative livelihood options for over 14,000 people, including the production of medicinal plants, handicraft sales, and ecotourism. Additionally, community members gain skills through capacity-building workshops related to alternative livelihoods and forest management/administration. These new skill sets improve participants’ labor market access and ability to earn additional income. The minimum salary in these communities increased to 7-10 USD per day, significantly higher than the 4 USD per day national average. Also, ACOFOP alone creates 40,000 paid days of employment annually.

    To learn more, read the case study.

    What other ways can ACOFOP or similar organizations promote alternative livelihoods and new sources of income to build on the ones already discussed?

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