Meso-America Regional Meeting


Date: July 10-14, 2017

Venue: Peten, Guatemala

General objective:

  • To promote the approach of the most important threats that the biggest forest landscapes and their inhabitants, with a specific emphasis on the Mayan Jungle (Mexico, Belize and Guatemala), La Moskita (Honduras and Nicaragua), Indio-Maíz-Tortuguero (Nicaragua and Costa Rica), La Amistad (Costa Rica and Panama), and the region of Darién (Panama).

Specific objectives:

  • Present and discusss with the participants the findings of the analysis titled "Human Footprint and Cow's Hoofprint" in Mesoamerica.
  • Identify strategies and actions to reduce the impact of illegal cattle ranching in protected areas, including effective community forest management.
  • Know practical experiences of territorial governance developed by indigenous organizations and local populations.
  • Identify strategies and actions to protect local populations and administrators of threatened forests.
  • Demonstrate tools and systems that allow the strengthening of the monitoring capacities and law compliance in protected areas.


Key concerns:

  • "Human Footprint and Cow's Hoofprint" report shows illegal cattle ranching is responsible for more than 90 percent of forest loss in remaining wildlife strongholds."
  • "Three of Central America’s 5 largest forests have been reduced in size by more than 23 percent."
  • "White-lipped peccaries, a bellwether species, have had their range reduced by 87 percent."

                                                                                                                           Source: WCS.ORG

Key result: the Declaration of Petén

Declaration signed by 25 Mesoamerican indigenous groups, protected area agencies, and civil society organizations demonstrating concern and committing to practical solutions.

"The Petén Declaration includes a commitment to five concrete actions to recover the region’s forests: 1) supporting local forests and indigenous communities to obtain land management 2) strengthening the conservation of protected areas 3) supporting the prosecution of environmental crimes 4) focusing on illegal livestock as the main driver of deforestation and 5) protecting environmental champions who risk their lives to protect Mesoamerica’s largest forests."

                                                                                                                           Source: WCS.ORG