Previously the establishment of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, resources at the area were depredated principally for timber and hunting. Populations with no land certainty used resources with no sustainability guidelines. After the establishment of the MBR not many things changed and government was pushed to create a functional mechanism that reduced the depredation of resources.The concession mechanisms established gave the opportunity to organized communities and private enterprises to participate in the management and sustainable use of resources.
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The ongoing project “Incorporation of Sacred Forests into the Protected Areas System of Benin,” supported by UNDP and financed by GEF, preserves tracts of forest with religious and ecological significance in Benin. These sacred forests are at high risk, and the recent addition of Sacred Forest as a category of Benin’s protected areas legislation paves the way for greater protection of the forests included in the project scope as well as other forests around the country.