The Community Forest of San Miguel is a 52,000-acre old-growth forest that houses the world's largest remaining stand of endangered Guatemalan fir trees. The forest also contains around 1,200 surface water sources, providing water for over 50,000 people in 80 communities. Partnering with the Association of the 48 Cantones of Totonicapan EcoLogic works to conserve and restore forests in microwatershed areas with the goal of preserving biodiversity and protecting water sources.
Pressure on forests, and therefore water sources threaten the life of the forest as well as the water supply to dozens of communities. These threats remain a challenge in Totonicapan including excessive cutting of trees by the local population, illegal loggers, and the advance of the agricultural frontier.
EcoLogic hopes to establish a sustainable process, through which the 80 communities that inhabit the forest can become effective stewards of their natural resources. Project activities include forest conservation and management and rescuing traditional environmental knowledge.
Project goals conceived to address challenges caused by deforestation and decline in traditional community forest management include 1) Forest Conservation and Management - Reforestation and protect water sources; conserve and manage forests; construct fuel-efficient wood-burning stoves and 2) Train local community leaders and other members of the communities and preserve traditional indigenous knowledge regarding the care of forests and water for future generations.