Last update:
2015-03-17

Logging concessions in Mayan territory, Belize

Since 1985 the Government of Belize began granting massive long-term logging concessions in Toledo province to foreign owned companies


Description:

In 1993, the Government of Belize began granting logging concessions in Mayan territory to foreign companies without consulting with indigenous (Yucatec, Mopan, and Q’eqchi’ Maya) neither afrodescendant communities (Garífuna).

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Logging concessions in Mayan territory, Belize
Country:Belize
State or province:Toledo
Location of conflict:Toledo
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Around seventeen concessions for logging on lands totaling approximately 194000 hectars in the Toledo District (Southern Belize)

Project area:194,000
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:20000-23000
Start of the conflict:1992
Company names or state enterprises:Atlantic Industries from Malaysia - owner
Atlantic International from Malaysia
Relevant government actors:Government of Belize, Supreme Court of Belize,Forestry Department,
International and Finance InstitutionsInter-American Commission on Human Rights
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:EJos: Toledo Maya Cultural Council (TMCC), Programme for Belize (PfB), Kekchi Council of Belize (KCB), Toledo Maya Women’s
Council (TMWC), Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA)
Supporters: Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC),
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Women
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Desertification/Drought
Potential: Global warming, Noise pollution, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Other socio-economic impacts
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:-Promotion of the ecotourism industry and sustainable forest management
-Mayan communities have asked to have rights to their lands
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The Mayan communities have strengthened their participation and juridical knowledge about their territorios. They have submitted an international demand where they obtained a victory. But the State of Belize continues granting concessions and jeopardizing the mayan livelihoods
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
[click to view]

CASE 12.053 MERITS MAYA INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES OF THE TOLEDO DISTRICT, BELIZE- October 12, 2004
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Litterer, Juliet (1997) Belize Logging Conflict to ICE Case Studies
[click to view]

James Anaya (1998) Maya Aboriginal Land and Resource Rights and the Conflict Over Logging in Southern Belize
[click to view]

Chapter Three: The Struggle for Land Tenure and Resource Control in Southern Belize
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

"Ten points of agreement" between Mayan communities and the government
[click to view]

IACHR Urges Belize to Guarantee the Rights of Maya Indigenous Communities
[click to view]

The rights of Maya indigenous communities not guaranteed
[click to view]

Maya indigenous community of the Toledo District v. Belize, Case 12.053
[click to view]

Reports of more illegal rosewood logging in Toledo
[click to view]

Other documents

Rosewood logging in Belize Source: http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0211-stott-rosewood-ban.html
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Grettel Navas, Fundación Neotrópic
Last update17/03/2015
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.