British Ambassador to Guatemala Nick Whittingham visited Peten March 8-10 to review the progress of a UK-funded project to combat wildlife trafficking at the Guatemala-Mexico border.
A three-year project (2020-2023) addresses the increasing poaching of valuable hardwood species and fauna affecting the Maya Biosphere Reserve (Peten) in Guatemala, the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve and the Balamku State Reserve in Mexico (Campeche).
Official reports show that no illegal loggers have been present in the border area for 22 months. In addition, 11 people were arrested in connection with activities damaging the environment in the area and some goods used by traffickers were confiscated.
The project also helps more than 100 people develop sustainable livelihoods for the communities on Carmelita Street. It consists of entrepreneurship that promotes the production of chickens, beekeeping, ecological restoration of landscapes and the sustainable use of Xate.
Ambassador Whittingham visited the community of San Miguel La Palotada, one of the focus areas where activities are being conducted with communities benefiting from alternative economic projects for vulnerable and wildlife trafficked populations.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) carries out the project in collaboration with Asociación Balam, ACOFOP, CECON/USAC, Foro de Justicia Ambiental de Petén, FUNDAECO, CONAP and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Guatemala; and ProNatura Península Yucatán, CONANP and SEMABICC in Mexico.
The UK is committed to protecting endangered animals and plants from poaching and illegal trade around the world. The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund (IWTCF) provides funding for practical projects around the world that help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and thereby reduce poverty.