CLAG 2020 Special Symposium

CLAG Special Symposium: January 6, 2020

The Maya Forest: Reflections and Projections for the Next 30 Years

The Maya Forest – a region key for global learning on environment and development – is facing a new and critical juncture. Its forests stretch across Guatemala, Mexico and Belize; the Maya Forest is the second largest contiguous tropical forest north of the Amazon. The region boasts a panoply of rich experiences on community rights, conservation and development as well, and is a globally important site for learning around community forest management. Yet these experiences are not uniform across the Maya forest: the past 30 years have seen a dramatic reconfiguration of territories as strict conservation projects, top-down development (such as through the Plan Puebla Panama and its successors), and grassroots initiatives intersected in markedly different ways. The result has been a mosaic of truly striking territorial contrasts, as strong communities with notable experiences in sustainable resource management stand amidst top-down development projects, social fragmentation, violence and impunity, resource degradation, and the resulting outmigration. Climate change is a major stressor as well: the region is well known for its vulnerability to hurricanes and severe weather, and temperature and precipitation changes are already affecting basic livelihoods, in addition to sparking unprecedented fires in the Maya Forest.

Perhaps most importantly, recent political shifts could either worsen or alleviate these current conditions. It is not at all clear that the lessons of the past 30 years for sustainable community development will prevail against external economic and political interests. Foremost among these are related to the rights of communities. In Guatemala, the first of the 25-year community concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) – which form the last standing block of forests in Guatemala´s portion of the region – will expire in 2022. The failure to renew these community concessions would likely catalyze the loss of the Maya Forest in Guatemala, the last bastion against an illicitly fueled agricultural frontier, associated with increasingly intense forest fires. Efforts to enact large-scale economic development projects, including a proposed strict-protected area around Mirador archaeology site in the Northern MBR, could displace existing communities and undermine important livelihoods. A key component for this initiative includes the construction of a train that would make the currently remote Mirador area accessible to large-scale tourism, bypassing community-led sustainable tourism initiatives.

The President-elect in Guatemala (incoming in January 2020) has demonstrated interest in supporting this train, and even linking it with the Mexican government´s proposed “Maya Train”, which would also cut directly through the Maya forest. Land speculation around train routes has already begun, threatening Maya communities throughout the region. Despite bearing the name of Maya Peoples, the government has not adequately consulted its plans with local communities, many of which fiercely oppose the project. In recent years, communities on both sides of the border have faced major setbacks from climate events coupled with lack of policy support, despite having been an epicenter for community resource management experiences in the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast with Mexico and Guatemala, recent titling advances in Belize offer a slightly more hopeful view, offering hope to 25,000 Maya Peoples that have customarily managed large areasof the Maya forest.

All of these changes are occurring as the region gains increasing attention due to geo-political interests around narco-trafficking and migration. New national and international initiatives are emerging that could either alleviate or aggravate the conditions facing this region, if they do not sufficiently learn the lessons of environment and development of the past three decades. The ongoing devastation of the Amazon under populist and growth-oriented national strategies, coupled with international demand for commodities, provides an urgent reminder of the importance and threatened nature of all tropical forests for climate change, biodiversity, and the diversity of peoples and cultures. The Maya Forest faces similar pressures, but the past 30 years provide significant evidence of pathways that work to preserve vital socio-environmental systems. Especially in the context of the increasing international attention to Central America given narco-trafficking and migration trends, a symposium to highlight these lessons is particularly timely.

Leveraging historical perspective in this moment of uncertainty, this symposium convenes international and Central American scholars to assess and debate the lessons learned through the collective land management processes of the Maya Forest since the establishment its major protected areas. This symposium will consist of several themed panels and a keynote address focusing on distinct, yet interrelated dimensions of sustainable development in the Maya Forest. These panels will address or relate to one or more of the following themes, ideally with a focus on evidence of past, contemporary, and future challenges and successes:

• Climate change: mitigation, carbon storage, and participation
• Indigenous and community rights
• Illicit actors as drivers of land use change
• Economic development models and initiatives
• Participatory governance and community forestry
• Environmental degradation and ecocide
• Criminalization and community movements

Symposium proceedings and invited papers may be considered for publication in a special issue.

The Regional Research Program on Environment and Development (PRISMA) are sponsors of the symposium and worked to coordinate the event with the CLAG conference organizers. It will be held in the Casa Santa Domingo on Monday, January 6, from 8 am – 5 pm. CLAG attendees are encouraged to contact the organizers, Jennifer Devine (devine@txstate.edu) and Laura Sauls (LSauls@clarku.edu), to register for participation in the daylong symposium at no additional cost to conference participation by November 1st, 2019. This conference is open to all who register and will take place in English and Spanish.

 

JLAG's Ten Most Popular Articles by Requests Since 2010

10057 Christopher Gaffney (2010).
Mega-events and socio-spatial dynamics in Rio de Janeiro, 1919-2016
Journal of Latin American Geography 9(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/377416

3837 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/215263

3479 Jeremy Slack; Daniel E. Martínez; Alison Elizabeth Lee; Scott Whiteford (2016).
The Geography of Border Militarization: Violence, Death and Health in Mexico and the United States
Journal of Latin American Geography 15(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/613266

3119 Karl H. Offen (2004).
The Territorial Turn: Making Black Territories in Pacific Colombia
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/174024

3102 Doribel Herrador Valencia; Enric Mendizábal Riera; Martí Boada i Juncà (2012).
Participatory Action Research Applied to the Management of Natural Areas: The Case Study of Cinquera in El Salvador
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/470629

2921 Jeffrey Todd Bury (2002).
Livelihoods, Mining and Peasant Protests in the Peruvian Andes
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/215262

2753 James Freeman (2014).
Raising the Flag over Rio de Janeiro's Favelas: Citizenship and Social Control in the Olympic City
Journal of Latin American Geography 13(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/539604

2507 Cynthia Sorrensen (2005).
Maria Full of Grace (Maria, llena eres de gracia) (review)
Journal of Latin American Geography 4(2). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/189742

2499 Kate Swanson; Rebecca Maria Torres (2016).
Child Migration and Transnationalized Violence in Central and North America
Journal of Latin American Geography 15(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/639098

2407 Dr. Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard (2015).
The Case of the Green Turtle: An Uncensored History of a Conservation Icon by Alison Rieser (review)
Journal of Latin American Geography 14(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/578762

JLAG's Ten Most Popular Articles by Requests in 01/2024

610 Doribel Herrador Valencia; Enric Mendizábal Riera; Martí Boada i Juncà (2012).
Participatory Action Research Applied to the Management of Natural Areas: The Case Study of Cinquera in El Salvador
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/470629

312 Elizabeth Macpherson; Pía Weber Salazar; Paulo Urrutia Barceló (2023).
Los ríos como territorio en disputa: hacia un enfoque relacional del agua en Chile / Rivers as Disputed Territory: Towards a Relational Approach to Water in Chile
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/915673

214 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/215263

134 Martha G. Bell; Jessica Budds; Gabriela Valdivia; Jörn Seemann; John C. Finn; Eugenio Arima (2023).
Contested Conference Locations: Perspectives on the 2024 AAG and CLAG Meetings
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/915666

112 Karl H. Offen (2004).
The Territorial Turn: Making Black Territories in Pacific Colombia
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/174024

100 Christian Brannstrom Adryane Gorayeb (2022).
Geographical Implications of Brazil’s Emerging Green Hydrogen Sector
Journal of Latin American Geography 21(1). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/855961

76 Jessica Budds; Kathleen O'Reilly (2023).
Reforming Water Governance in Chile: A Hydrosocial Relations Perspective
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/915672

70 Christopher Gaffney; Bruno Eeckels (2020).
Covid-19 and Tourism Risk in the Americas
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/760914

64 Felix M. Dorn; Fernando Ruiz Peyré (2020).
Lithium as a Strategic Resource: Geopolitics, Industrialization, and Mining in Argentina
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(4). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/772602

56 Kathleen McAfee (2004).
Corn Culture and Dangerous DNA: Real and Imagined Consequences of Maize Transgene Flow in Oaxaca
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/174022

JLAG's Ten Most Popular Articles by Requests in 2024

610 Doribel Herrador Valencia; Enric Mendizábal Riera; Martí Boada i Juncà (2012).
Participatory Action Research Applied to the Management of Natural Areas: The Case Study of Cinquera in El Salvador
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/470629

312 Elizabeth Macpherson; Pía Weber Salazar; Paulo Urrutia Barceló (2023).
Los ríos como territorio en disputa: hacia un enfoque relacional del agua en Chile / Rivers as Disputed Territory: Towards a Relational Approach to Water in Chile
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/915673

214 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/215263

134 Martha G. Bell; Jessica Budds; Gabriela Valdivia; Jörn Seemann; John C. Finn; Eugenio Arima (2023).
Contested Conference Locations: Perspectives on the 2024 AAG and CLAG Meetings
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/915666

112 Karl H. Offen (2004).
The Territorial Turn: Making Black Territories in Pacific Colombia
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/174024

100 Christian Brannstrom Adryane Gorayeb (2022).
Geographical Implications of Brazil’s Emerging Green Hydrogen Sector
Journal of Latin American Geography 21(1). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/855961

76 Jessica Budds; Kathleen O'Reilly (2023).
Reforming Water Governance in Chile: A Hydrosocial Relations Perspective
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/915672

70 Christopher Gaffney; Bruno Eeckels (2020).
Covid-19 and Tourism Risk in the Americas
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/760914

64 Felix M. Dorn; Fernando Ruiz Peyré (2020).
Lithium as a Strategic Resource: Geopolitics, Industrialization, and Mining in Argentina
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(4). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/772602

56 Kathleen McAfee (2004).
Corn Culture and Dangerous DNA: Real and Imagined Consequences of Maize Transgene Flow in Oaxaca
Journal of Latin American Geography 2(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/174022

Los Diez Artículos Españoles Mas Popular de JLAG por Solicitudes Desde 2010

3837 Maria Elisa Christie (2002).
Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional mexicana: género, adaptación y resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 1(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/215263

2227 Danilo Borja; Juan Bay; Conny Davidsen; Traducido por Yulia Garcia Sarduy (2021).
Ancianos amazónicos en la frontera petrolera: La vida y muerte de Nenkihui Bay, líder tradicional Waorani
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/787933

2107 Diana Vela-Almeida; Sofia Zaragocin; Manuel Bayón; Iñigo Arrazola (2020).
Imaginando territorios plurales de vida: una lectura feminista de las resistencias en los movimientos socio-territoriales en el Ecuador
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(2). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/749633

1610 Geobrujas-Comunidad de Geógrafas (2021).
Cuerpos, fronteras y resistencia: mujeres conjurando geografí­a a través de experiencias desde el otro lado del muro
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(2). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/799599

1532 Colectivo de Geografía Crítica del Ecuador (2017).
Geografiando para la resistencia
Journal of Latin American Geography 16(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/653095

1512 Diego B. Leal; David S. Salisbury; Josué Faquín Fernández; Lizardo Cauper Pezo; Julio Silva (2015).
Ideas cambiantes sobre territorio, recursos y redes políticas en la Amazonía indígena: un estudio de caso sobre Perú
Journal of Latin American Geography 14(2). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/586857

1353 Christian Abizaid; Luis Ángel Collado Panduro; Sergio Gonzales Egusquiza (2020).
Pobreza Y Medios De Subsistencia En La Amazonía Peruana En Tiempos De La Covid-19
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/760940

1186 Jerónimo Ríos Sierra (2020).
Una aproximación (geo)politológica a la crisis de la COVID-19 en América Latina
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/760939

931 Robert B. Kent (2012).
La geografía en América Latina: Visión por países
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/470642

812 Rosa Silvia Arciniega (2012).
Participación de Mujeres en el Mercado Laboral del Estado de México
Journal of Latin American Geography 11(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/470633

Os Artigos Português Mais Populares da JLAG por Solicitações Desde 2010

1672 Rogério Haesbaert (2020).
Território(s) numa perspectiva latino-americana
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/744032

1565 Luciene Cristina Risso; Clerisnaldo Rodrigues de Carvalho (2022).
A exibição de antipolíticas indígenas e ambientais orquestrada pelo governo brasileiro de Bolsonaro
Journal of Latin American Geography 21(2). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/863335

1268 Joana Salém Vasconcelos (2021).
Cuba, protestos e caminhos da revolução
Journal of Latin American Geography 20(3). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/835650

765 Laura Sarmiento (2016).
JLAG Perspectives: Vida, Conhecimento e Território: uma geobiografia do Carlos Walter Porto-Gonçalves
Journal of Latin American Geography 15(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/639102

729 Joseli Maria Silva; Marcio Jose Ornat (2020).
Geografias feministas na América Latina: desafios epistemológicos e a decolonialidade de saberes
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/744044

389 Jessica Budds; Martha G. Bell; John C. Finn; Jörn Seemann; Eugenio Arima; Gabriela Valdivia (2023).
Language, Translation, and the Practice of Decolonizing Academic Publishing / Lengua, traducción y la práctica de la descolonización de las publicaciones académicas / Linguagem, tradução e a prática de descolonização das publicações acadêmicas
Journal of Latin American Geography 22(2). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/909083

282 Christian Dennys Monteiro de Oliveira; Fabrício Américo Ribeiro; Ivo Luis Oliveira Silva; Luiz Raphael Teixeira Silva; José Arilson Xavier de Souza; Gerlaine Cristina Franco; Marcos da Silva Rocha; Maryvone Moura Gomes; Camila Benatti (2020).
As organizações religiosas brasileiras frente à pandemia de COVID-19
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/760909

212 Vinicius Santos Almeida (2020).
Necromobilidade durante a pandemia da Covid-19
Journal of Latin American Geography 19(3). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/760907

160 Antoinette M.G.A. WinklerPrins (2009).
Cidades da Floresta: Urbanização, Desenvolvimento, e Globalização na Amazônia Brasileira (review)
Journal of Latin American Geography 8(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/260547

121 Jean-Yves Puyo (2008).
Mise en valeur de la Guyane française et peuplement blanc: les espoirs déçus du baron de Laussat (1819-1823)
Journal of Latin American Geography 7(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/article/232499

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