Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2023. 8:57 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Conejo Creek Forestry Enterprise is sowing its profits back into the community.
During their Independence Day ceremony, Rax Mu Qiche inaugurated a long-awaited community center.
The ceremony was attended by government officials, including Indigenous Peoples Affairs Commissioner Gregory Ch’oc.
“This latest initiative is only one of the few ways that the community-owned and -managed sustainable forestry group has contributed to its community’s development. At the end of each year, it reinvests into the community business and provides holiday baskets to every village household,” a statement from Conejo Creek Forestry Enterprise noted.
According to the timber company, with continuous technical assistance from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Rax Mu Qiche has improved and expanded its business practices.
Last year the enterprise sent its first shipment of sustainable timber to the EU, following a US shipment in 2021.
In recent years, this Maya community enterprise received the highest ranking (3/3) in the Protected Areas and Link Communities IUCN and ICCA Assessment Scores.
“Widespread illegal logging, unstandardized logging practices and poverty are the main drivers of deforestation in Toledo. Rax Mu Qiche is the exception, practicing a combination of data-based and Maya customary forest management,” the company reiterated.
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