The Maya jungle is one of the main sites with deforestation in LA: WWF

Photo: La Jornada Maya
Between 2004 and 2017 the loss of forest was around 5 percent

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) listed the Selva Maya, which spans Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, as one of nine places in Latin America with a significant concentration of deforestation. The WWF indicated that between 2004 and 2017 the loss of forest was around 5 percent of the total forest area, which is 10.2 million hectares.

In the report Deforestation fronts. Causes and responses in a changing world, released yesterday, stated that although in the past, cattle ranching, logging, and forest burning were the main drivers of this loss in one of the largest tropical forests in America, currently agriculture Commercial, especially on a large scale, plays an increasingly important role.

The statement highlighted that in the last decade, deforestation has moved from the south to the northwest of Petén, Guatemala, and has progressed more and moreover the northeast of Campeche and south of Quintana Roo, in Mexico.

The Fund stressed that the Maya Forest provides important environmental services, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity, as well as vital forest resources for rural communities.

The document added that other underlying causes of deforestation are the change of collective land tenure to a more individual one that has been associated with the purchase of large-scale producers. Also, in some regions, organized crime has fueled the sale of forest land for cattle ranching, and to a lesser extent, for large-scale agriculture. 

The Yucatan Times
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