To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Guatemala

MAYA

 
       
  General Description   The Maya Biosphere Reserve in the Petén region of northern Guatemala, together with the Maya Forest of Belize and Mexico represents one of the largest areas of tropical forest north of the Amazon and the northernmost tropical forest in the Western Hemisphere. It is also the site of three contiguous UNESCO recognized biosphere reserves: the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, Calakmul and Montes Azules Biosphere Reserves in the southern Mexico. The reserve has seven core areas, and includes four national parks and three wildlife reserves which contain high and medium lowland forest, inundated savannas, small fields of pine, caves and rocky habitats, lakes and lagoons, rivers and wetlands and remnant mangrove forests. The multiple use zone is composed of tropical forest dedicated to the sustainable harvest of zate palms, chicle gum, all spice and timber. A southerly-located buffer zone has been rapidly changing from a forested landscape with scattered agricultural patches to an agricultural landscape with an increasingly fragmented forest. The population of Petén has grown from 25,000 to more than 500,000 (2002) during the last 30 years. Most of these people have settled in regions south of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, but as lands in the southern Petén are occupied and new logging and oil roads are opened in the reserve, increasing pressure is applied to the biosphere itself. The Tikal World Heritage site is a core area. The site brings 180,000 national and international tourists each year, and as a result tourism is the single largest income producer. Promoting diverse sources of income-generation for local people is a major concern. Guatemalan and international conservationists work on core area delimitation and protection, combining efforts to find economic alternatives to slash-and-burn farming in order to forge a new future for local populations in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forests including wetlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   High and medium altitude forest with bread-nut tree (Brosiumum alicastrun), West Indian mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Bloma prisca, Vitex guameri, cedar (Cedrela odorata) etc.; lowland forest with Bucida buceras, Haematoxylum campechianum, Cocolobo sp. etc.; inundated savannas; small fields of pine with Pinus caribea; caves and rocky habitats; natural wells; lakes and lagoons; rivers; wetlands including fresh water bodies, lagoons; remnant mangrove forest with Rhizophora mangle; forestry systems with Swietenia humilis, Brosiumum alicastrum, Pimenta dioica etc.; human settlements; agroecosystems; pasture land
  Location   N: 17°49'N; 89°09'W
S: 16°48'N; 90°33' W
E: 17°49'N; 89°09'W
W: 17°15'N; 91°26'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   2,112,940
  Core area(s)   767,000
  Buffer zone(s)   848,440 (multiple use area)
  Transition area(s) when given   497,500
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +50 to +636
  Year designated   1990
  Administrative authorities   Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) Center for Conservation Studies (CECON) administrate the Biotopos Instituto de Antropología e Historia (IDAEH) administrate the Parque National Tikal


Last updated: 3/8/2011

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO