Guatemala and Mexico share the Tacaná Volcano border area which straddles the Department of San Marcos and the State of Chiapas respectively, an area in the Mesoamerican Biodiversity Corridor, featuring biological richness and ecotourism potential although most of the population lives in poverty, using natural resources unsustainably. An initiative was developed for sustainable development in the protected areas of the Tacaná Volcano border area, based on coordinated actions, a study of the situation and various exchanges between regional representatives of Mexican and Guatemalan Government institutions, civil society and the Swiss organization HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.
The objective of the project is to contribute to improving living standards for 28,000 people in both countries, based on the conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources. More specifically, it will launch a participatory process for natural resource and biodiversity management, conservation and use in the Tacaná Volcano and its range of influence in Guatemala and Mexico. The project begins with an initial two-year phase to establish the foundations of joint work with the community, men and women, with pilot activities including forest management, diversification of economic opportunities, upgrade of the legal framework of Protected Areas and enhancement of collaboration between both countries.
Expected outputs are as follows:
•Pilot areas for restoration or conservation have been established in a participatory manner;
•Pilot projects identified and established with the community, to enhance local livelihood, including: ecotourism, agro-forestry and livestock-forestry systems;
•The technical and legal framework for integrated management in Tacaná Volcano has been updated; and
•Local communities, Municipal Councils and public bodies share information, take decisions by consensus and are actively involved in the Guatemala – Mexico Binational Cooperation.