By Chris Lang
In the northeast of Guatemala is the site of one of the largest community forests in the world, covering almost half a million hectares of forest. It is part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, established by the Government of Guatemala in 1990.
As well as having extraordinary biodiversity, there are also hundreds of Mayan ruins in the forests.
To protect forests, give control to the communities who live there
An article about the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the New York Times last year sums up the idea behind the community forest concessions:
The most effective way to protect forests is to give control of them to the communities who already live there....