What is this project?
This article is the first installation of a multiple-part story series intended to take a deep-dive into a specific issue — unsustainable timber extraction, or logging — at one of our long-standing project sites: the Communal Forest of Los Altos de San Miguel in Totonicapán, Guatemala. As the story unfolds, you will learn about the complexities of the logging issue, the players involved and their needs/motivations, the impact of logging on forest resources and biodiversity, as well as the unique history and current realities of Totonicapán, Guatemala.
Villages in Totonicapán show great solidarity through their ancestral council, the Association of Communal Mayors of los 48 Cantones, and organize as a community to restore and protect their communal forest. Despite their centuries of effort, and international partnership with EcoLogic that provides critical financial, technical, and project resources, challenges remain; climate change, population growth, and the needs and desires of rural and indigenous people have changed as the world becomes more globalized, economies merge, and traditional practices blur with modern trends.
For these reasons, EcoLogic, los 48 Cantones, and a multi-stakeholder working group in Totonicapán, are codesigning a public communications campaign built on an analysis of the situation and its unique context and history and engagement with village loggers and fuelwood consumers. Ultimately, the campaign will promote a collective path toward ending unsustainable and illegal logging, through the voices of the local people involved.