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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WCS will highlight experiences with PA-based enterprises working with local communities in Bolivia and Guatemala to help promote sustainable livelihoods and improve governance conditions. In Bolivia, WCS works in a suite of Protected Areas and indigenous territories to develop community-based natural resource management enterprises, ranging from chocolate cultivation to caiman harvesting and processing of skins. In Guatemala, WCS works with a community to sustainably harvest an understory palm frond known as xate.