Trinational meeting of sustainable experiences in the Selva Maya

With the objective of sharing work experiences for the conservation and sustainable use of non-timber products in the Selva Maya, as well as strengthening the collaboration synergies between key actors from Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, on March 29 and 30, 2017 was carried out a trinational meeting in the states of Quintana Roo and Campeche, with the participation of governmental environmental authorities (CONANP, Mexico; CONAP, Guatemala & Forest Department, Belize), producer associations related to the use of Ramon tree’ seeds (Brosimum alicastrum), beekeepers in the Calakmul and Bala’an K’aax region, non-governmental organizations involved in the protection, conservation and sustainable use of the Selva Maya, as well as the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development (GIZ). The meeting was organized by Reforestamos México, A.C.

On the first day, it was visited Tres Garantías community in Quintana Roo, where a group of women entrepreneurs offered a guided tour of their processing plant for products made with seed and leaves of Ramón tree. During that visit, the women of the company Ruez de la Selva Maya shared their history, experiences and learning. Later, in the Community of Valentín Gómez Farías, Campeche, the participants learned the practices of packaging and commercialization of melipona honey (native bee without sting), headed by Ms. Araceli Hernandez Zurita who is a partner of the company Meliyik. Ms. Araceli explained the importance of cultivating melipones for the conservation of these bees, as well as the nutritional and human health benefits.

On the second day was visited a group of beekeepers in Nuevo Becal, Campeche who are part of the Rural Production Society Floración de la Naturaleza Maya, the group produces, harvests and trades its honey without intermediaries. They are also working to have soon organic certification. During the tour to the apiary, they showed the techniques of monitoring and care of hives. At the end it was visited the plant where they extract the honey and pack it. The trinational meeting finished with the sign of two collaboration agreements, one between Reforestamos México A.C. with the Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP) & member of the Selva Maya Program – GIZ; and another between Reforestamos México A.C. with Belize Audubon Society. Finally, other cooperation agreements were concluded between the participants in order to strengthen the integration of the value chains of these products. This trinational exchange is part of the collaboration agreements emanating from the “Management Skills for Effective Leadership” Diploma organized by the Selva Maya Program, thereby enhancing management and cooperation competencies among relevant actors in order to guide activities and actions with long-term vision for the conservation of this forest massif