Uaxactúnis declared a village 67 years ago, but had long inhabited, located approximately 96 km from Flores, adjacent to the north border of Tikal National Park and has 83,558 ha forest concession of timber and non-timber products.This community of 770 people has been devoted to the extraction of non-timber products as xate (Chamaedorea spp.), Chicle (Manilkara zapota) and pepper (Pimienta dioica). This community was the first to sign a Conservation Agreement that provides incentive payments and technical assistance in exchange for conservation actions developed by the community. Under the agreement, the community receives benefits (e.g support to education and incentive payment forxate) in exchange for developing specific conservation activities and thead option of a sustainable xate harvesting (palm leaf are used to decorate flower arrangements), enrichment of natural populations of xate, implementation of control and monitoring plans, fire prevention, among others.
Some major achievements include re-zoning of agricultural land within the concession, improved management and protection of 81,000 ha, incorporating xate 100,000 new plants in the forest (survival rategreater than 90%) and direct benefit to 250 people by the new xate harvesting incentives. The agreement has also helped streng then the administrative and financial capacities of local authorities (COCODE) and the entity responsible for managing the forest concession (OMYC) through the contract of an auditor.
One of the great challenges facing this community is to achieve financial and technical sustain ability to conduct conservation and forest management of the concession granted. Also important is the maintenance and streng thening of control and surveillance system to address the threats of deforestation and fires.