The forests of Mesoamerica impact on the quality of life, sustained economic growth and economic mobility of the rural poor and extremely poor populations. These ecosystems are also one of the main opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and comprise one of the most biodiversity-rich zones on the planet. However, the Mesoamerican region displays some of the highest deforestation and forest degradation rates in the world, coupled with the highest stratums of rural poverty and extreme poverty of the northern and central parts of the hemisphere.
Indigenous peoples and forest communities through livelihood strategies have created a close bond with nature and its use since ancient times. However, decisions regarding natural resources management have been characterized by a limited or nonexistent inclusion of their interests, as well as the imposition of practices that favor the expansion of direct or indirect agents of deforestation and forest degradation.
This panel seek to present the different views in Mesoamerica (government, indigenous peoples, private sector) of structural limitations that affect forest management and the productive commercial chains that are competing in land use and have a direct effect in human wellbeing, climate change, and poverty alleviation.