Project Status: 

SATIIM believes that stimulating communities for community-based sustainable enterprises that are linked to conservation, environment and forest management provide a long term solution for communities and also mitigates climate change.  This project promotes community based sustainable forest enterprise as a means to reducing poverty and environmental degradation. As a part of the project, SATIIM will:


  1. Assist with community organization;
  2. Facilitate technical and administrative trainings;
  3. Assist in Forestry planning and the development of Forest management plans and annual plans of operations for sustainable forestry;
  4. Facilitate sustainable harvesting utilizing reduced impact logging techniques, a key element of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) which maintains economically viable log yields, improves the condition of regenerating forests and alleviates negative environmental effects; and
  5. Pursue equitable and competitive commercialization of products.


Implementation Update


Community based sustainable forestry project launched for Crique SarcoOn Monday December 6, 2010, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) with funding from the Global Environmental Facility Trust Fund, which supports the Development Marketplace 2009 Global Competition, launched a project in Toledo entitled “ Building Q'eqchi' Maya Capacity, Flexibility, and Adaption to Climate Change through Community-based Sustainable Forest Management”.  The launching was held at the Father Ring Parish Hall and included the participation of stakeholders from the buffer communities of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, local NGO’s and representatives from the Government.  The guest speaker for the event was Minister Peter Eden Martinez but he was unable to make it so his speech was delivered by Mr. Robert Pennel.  Other speakers included SATIIM’s executive Director, Gregory Ch’oc; Mr. Raul Chun from the Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources; the Alcalde of Crique Sarco; Luis Cho, the Members of two other Community-Based Sustainable Forest Enterprise (CBSFE) that SATIIM are working with; Pablo Max of CBSFE in Santa Teresa and John Makin of Conejo Village; and a presentation of the project launched was given by SATIIM’s Programs Manager, Lynette Gomez. The community members formed the Community based sustainable forestry group named: Xchag’al Ru Rax Q’iche, which means beautiful rainforest.  The group consists of 34 members who have worked together in demarcating their village boundaries and defining forest management area.  The community members along with Forester Carlos Gomez Caal, defined and demarcated their forest polygon.  The group received training on the methodology for conducting forest inventory (a survey of the tree species, size etc within the forest) in Crique Sarco and conducted their forest inventory for two weeks starting May 8, 2011.  The topics covered under the training included:


  • Identifying sampling plots on a map (using GPS, compass)
  • Establishment of sampling plots (using compass and measuring tapes)Identification and measurement of tree species (using diametric tape)
  • Recording of inventory (special data sheet)The groups were also introduced to various equipments and tools used when conducting forest inventory. 


The participants had a practical exercise using the equipments prior to entering the forest. Currently, the groups have ceased all operations because of a challenging developments encountered within the community.

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The project diminishes effects of poverty and environmental degradations in rural indigenous communities and habitats in the Toledo District promoting a community-based sustainable forest management enterprise. A three phased initiative encompasses conservation, sustainable-development and income generating strategy begins in Crique Sarco. The community develops sustainable use of their forest resources, participating directly in management and efforts to preserve species depleted to near-extinction. Reduced-impact logging, a key element of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), maintains economically viable log yields, improves the condition of regenerating forests and alleviates negative effects. Forest cover mitigates climate change, harbors biodiversity, protects soil and watersheds.

The Q’eqchi Maya of southern Belize have sustained a century’s long, intimate relationship with the rainforests they inhabit. Despite neglect of their rights and marginalization, as guardians of the forest, they have remarkable knowledge of unique properties of countless plants. The consequences of uncontrolled development beyond the forest frontier (part of national plans) emphasize the growing hazards of climate change. A new approach is needed: sustainable development maximizing well-being of people without prejudicing interests of future generations.
Innovation / Expected Results: 

Identification and pursuit of community-based solutions for SFM and conservation provides innovative social and tangible benefits to the families of Crique Sarco. The growing impact of climate change requires involvement but demands understanding and knowledge related to the importance of conservation. A systematic forestry inventory developed to determine the rainforest potential takes into account assets: abundance of natural forest conditions. Technical assistance provides skills in enterprise management, forest planning, commercial marketing and reduced-impact forest harvesting. First Result: Strengthening of traditional institutions (social, political and economic) of the Maya community to cultivate their awareness of the effects and capacity to adapt to climate change through a Community-Based Sustainable Forest Management and Enterprise development (CBSFME) in Crique Sarco. Second Result: Training in technical and administrative issues. Third Result: Development of sustainable forest management plan and annual operational plans following reduced-impact logging principles and sustainable forest management criteria. Fourth Result: Primary industrialization of sustainable forest management timber by local CBSFME.
Fifth Result: Competitive community-oriented commercialization of timber products