Paysages mayas durables du Petén (angl.)

Improving the conservation and connectivity of biodiverse landscapes through sustainable and inclusive production systems in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve.
Concesiones Forestales Comunitarias de la Zona de Usos Múltiples de la Reserva de Biosfera Maya 
Áreas de Conservación de El Bloque
Reserva Indígena Bio-Itzá
Biotopo Protegido Universitario El Zotz
Biotopo Protegido Universitario Cerro Cahuí
Parque Nacional Tikal
Parque Nacional Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo
Zonas de Amortiguamiento entre la RBM y la cuenca del lago Petén Itzá y entre RBM
Reserva de Biosfera Montañas Mayas-Chiquibul
Durée du projet
2023 - 2025
Financé par
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Because of the increasing pressure on the Petén's ecosystems, exacerbated by the agricultural and livestock expansion, as well as immigration and inadequate management of protected areas, this Sustainable Maya Landscapes project is crucial. The current situation threatens the region's unique biodiversity and compromises the livelihoods of local communities who depend on these resources for their livelihoods.

The project

The "Sustainable Mayan Landscapes" project seeks to restore and protect the natural heritage, promote sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic development, to ensuring a better quality of life for the inhabitants and the conservation of the Maya landscape for future generations. 

The project seeks to enhance the abilities of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve communities and organisations to face challenges arising from unsustainable practices and vulnerability, so they can achieve a state of sustainable development by implementing resilient practices that protect biodiversity. The project’s vision is to achieve a balance between socioeconomic progress and environmental conservation through sustainable resource management, inclusion of marginalised groups, and promotion of green businesses, contributing to effective local governance and well-being of the community and its eco-system.

The project addresses the urgent need to reverse environmental degradation and improve living conditions in Petén, Guatemala, by implementing an integrated strategy that promotes sustainable socioeconomic development aligned with environmental conservation. The theory of change within this project is based on creating synergies between local capacity building, sustainable natural resource management, and the creation of green economic opportunities. A specific innovation is the focus on circular and green economy as a strategy for the protection of Lake Petén Itzá. The project integrates interventions in forestry value chains, non-timber forest products, livestock, cacao, honey, and sustainable tourism, promoting practices that minimise environmental impact while maximising social and economic inclusion.

Key stakeholders include local organisations such as ACOFOP, ProPéten, an organisation called El Bloque, government entities, and international agencies such as the European Union, who contribute in areas that range from financial support to the implementation of sustainable practices. The direct beneficiaries are local communities, including farmers, women entrepreneurs, and young people, who will benefit from improved access to inclusive markets, employability, and quality of life.

Key activities include institutional strengthening, promotion of sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices, development of tourism as a sustainable economic driver, and an improved waste and wastewater management, which will contribute to the construction of more sustainable cities and the promotion of clean air. This project focuses on critical sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and waste management, targeting areas of work that include biodiversity conservation, sustainable construction, and sustainable transportation, creating a replicable model of sustainable development.


  1. Conserve 425,000 hectares of forest, contributing to the reduction or avoidance of CO2-equivalent emissions.
  2. Increase the net income of 210 families and individuals through sustainable productive activities.
  3. Attract more public and private investment in the forest and agriculture sectors to support ecological transformation.
  4. Implement agroforestry and silvopastoral systems to promote sustainable agricultural practices.
  5. Increase the amount of hectares of forest with management plans approved by local, regional or central authorities.
  6. Train 180 people from government institutions, communities and Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), in inclusive green development and creating 60 new jobs.
  7. Provide scholarships to 350 young people for training in skills with which they can find employment or start self-employment.
  8. Support 3 MSMEs through investment and innovation funds and provide 40 families with resources for agroforestry and silvopastoral systems.
  9. Improve green market systems and sustainable socioeconomic development for 75 families in community associations.
  10. Strengthen waste and wastewater management in two municipalities, indirectly benefiting 50,000 people and promoting women's empowerment in the community.

Project partners  

  • ACOFOP Asociación de Comunidades Forestales de Petén (ACOFOP) / Association of Forest Communities of Petén
  • Fundación ProPetén
  • Zamorano

Expected results

  1. Forest cover has been conserved, improving ecological connectivity between reserves and watersheds, and promoting biodiversity.
  2. Family incomes have increased through sustainable productive activities, improving economic well-being.
  3. CO2-equivalent emissions have been captured and reduced, contributing to the fight against climate change.
  4. Increased investment in environmental management and protection, with sustainable forestry practices and fire prevention.
  5. Employment and entrepreneurship were promoted among young people and women, and the circular economy was encouraged in municipalities.