GUATEMALA CITY – Members of pop rock group Maroon 5 and alternative rock group Guster, in a letter, press the new president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, to continue sustainable forestry methods with the successful community forest management model.
Maroon 5 and Guster, in collaboration with the Environmental Investigation Agency and the environmental non-profit organization Reverb, support the legal and sustainable harvesting of wood for musical instruments and other wood products. The musicians’ December 2015 trip to Guatemala reinforced their belief that community forest management can contribute to forest conservation and combatting the illegal timber trade, they said in the letter.
“We saw firsthand that the benefits of community forest management extend not only to the forests, but also to Guatemalan communities…The community concessions are an important example of how to mitigate climate change at the global level and they have contributed to making communities stronger and more economically vibrant because community members have the opportunity to use their natural resources sustainably,” wrote the musicians.
Forest concessions in northern Guatemala’s biodiverse Maya Biosphere Reserve are governed by a concession system that fosters community management of natural resources alongside forest preservation. In their letter, Jesse Carmichael and James Valentine of Maroon 5 and Adam Gardner of Guster, express their hope that President Morales support community forest management in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
The Maya Biosphere Reserve is the most biologically diverse ecosystem in Central America and is home to high-value wood species such as mahogany, rosewood, and cedar, which are in great demand on the international market.
“President Morales can help to preserve this successful model by advocating for the long-term renewal of concession contracts based on the conservation and economic advances that Guatemalan communities have already demonstrated through community forest management,” said EIA’s Senior Policy Advisor Lisa Handy.
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