- The meeting took place at the French residence in Guatemala in early October.
October 14, 2022. In order to establish diplomatic cooperation alliances and present the results of more than 30 years of joint work in conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, representatives of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and the French Center for International Agricultural Cooperation for Development (Cirad) held a meeting with the French Ambassador to Guatemala, Odile Roussel.
The objective of the meeting was to discuss possible support from the French government for future research and development work on community forest management in Petén, led by Cirad and CATIE, in collaboration with the Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP).
The meeting was attended by Paola Royer, cooperation attaché of the French Embassy in Guatemala; Juan Carlos Méndez, deputy director general of CATIE; Julio López, representative of the Center in Guatemala; and Marie AngeNgoBieng, CATIE and Cirad forest ecologist.
"It is expected that the strengths of the CATIE-Cirad alliance will be recognized at the regional level, in the French diplomatic representations in Central America and, in this case, in Guatemala. This will strengthen the regional scope of action of both institutions," said NgoBieng.
The work carried out between CATIE and Cirad has made it possible to promote Inclusive Green Development in Latin America and the Caribbean through the execution of research for development, training, genetic improvement in coffee and cocoa, agro-forestry, sustainable agriculture and livestock, and conservation of tropical forests. The latter is one of the essential objectives in sustainable forest management that CATIE and ACOFOP, in Guatemala, have been committed to implementing strategically and integrally for the preservation of the Maya Biosphere Reserve for three decades.
"We have confirmed our long-standing alliance with ACOFOP by recently signing a new framework cooperation agreement to support human capital formation and advance a joint research agenda in the sustainable management of natural resources in the multiple-use zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve," said Méndez.
Currently, with the help of Cirad, this alliance is being strengthened through a proposal that seeks to support ACOFOP in research and training to address the climatic, anthropic and environmental challenges that arise in community forest management, as well as to position the Petén region as a school of sustainable forest management, highlighting the potential of this model for the durability of forest ecosystems in tropical landscapes.
"The cooperative relationship in support of the community forestry process has generated valuable lessons and lessons learned, which give added value for the future of sustainable forest management in Petén, as well as the potential scaling up of this experience to other regions," emphasized López.
Community forest concessions have been essential for the conservation of tropical forests through a balance between the sustainable use of forest resources as an economic source and the protection of their biodiversity. There are currently around 500,000 hectares in Petén that, over the course of more than two decades, have been safeguarded by the communities.
Juan Carlos Méndez
Deputy Director General of CATIE
CATIE representative in Guatemala
Marie Ange Ngo Bieng
Technical Director of ACOFOP
Dannia Gamboa Solís
CATIE Communication and Marketing Office