State of the Maya Biosphere Reserve

The Project

Work Meeting, DFID-MBR Project


The Wildlife Conservation Society  (WCS) and its partners began the  “Strengthening Emerging Local Governance Capacity to Conserve Natural and Cultural Resources and Secure Livelihoods in the Petén, Guatemala” project (herein, the DFID-MBR project) on August 15, 2008, with financing from the Governance and Transparency Fund of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).  The project has an estimated duration of five years, beginning from the date of signing of the contract. 
The goal of the project is that the sustainable management and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of Petén generate social, political, economic, and environmental benefits for civil society organizations, the national government, and the global community.  The purpose of the project is to strengthen and consolidate local capacity for creating and managing representative, responsible, transparent, and effective institutions for the management of natural and cultural resources in intact areas of Petén, through four lines of action:

1.     Strengthening government institutions
2.    Strengthening civil society
3.    Strengthening alliances between government and civil society
4.    Training and outreach

The project is led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), with the close and active participation of five primary partners: the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP), the Center for Environmental and Social Legal Action of Guatemala (CALAS), the Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP), Asociación BALAM, and the Center for Conservation Studies of USAC (CECON). 
The geographic scope of the DFID-MBR project is the eastern zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.  However, the program includes crosscutting and structural themes and activities, such as policy and institution building, that have no geographic boundaries.