Selva Maya representatives at the International Carrefour du Bois 2024

For the second time running, Selva Maya representatives will be participating with ATIBT at the Carrefour International du Bois (CIB) this year. Representatives will include the Rainforest Alliance and their partners the forest community enterprises from Noh Bec and Petcacab in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and the Carmelita Forest concession in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.

Maya Biosphere Reserve (Guatemala) - Sergio Izquierdo

The aim of their participation is to expand the trading of tropical timber from well-positioned species, such as Mahogany, but alos position lesser-known species like Pucté and Machiche from Selva Maya, currently exported to the US and European markets for the musical instrument manufacturing industry and decking, respectively.

During CIB, Selva Maya representatives will hold several presentations at the ATIBT and FSC booths to further talk about the work being done to preserve the forest in the region and improve their livelihoods.

Selva Maya is the most extensive tropical forest in Mesoamerica, a megadiverse ecosystem that spreads across the south of Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula), Belize, and the north of Guatemala (Mayan Biosphere Reserve), covering over 14 million hectares. This tropical rainforest is home to both emblematic species and protected areas vital for ecosystem services and is the largest carbon stock in Mesoamerica. Finally, it is an area with high cultural diversity and a population of more than 600,000 indigenous and non-indigenous people.

For the past three decades, the Rainforest Alliance has collaborated in Selva Maya in Mexico and Guatemala, with various forest communities to contribute to forest restoration and conservation, livelihoods improvement and gender and social inclusion in the workforce. This has taken place through the implementation of sustainable forest management in line with regional guidelines, working alongside forest communities in Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, totaling over 1.2 million hectares under sustainable forest management, with nearly half a million hectares FSC certified.

In Selva Maya Rainforest Alliance is moving towards a systemic approach, leading the way to form key alliances with stakeholders in the region from government bodies to the private sector, focusing on market-based solutions to access different forest-related supply chains and bring real benefits to forest communities. This approach has been proven successful in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, where forest community concessions have reduced deforestation and forest fires to almost zero.

Building on the proven success of this approach, the forest ejidos and concessions are now looking to grow their businesses and continue expanding their trading in new markets, while positively impacting on both the livelihoods of those who depend on the forest and the sustainable forest management in Selva Maya.


For more information, please contact Carlos Estrada