Just north of the Mexico-Guatemala border, the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in the state of Campeche contains several archeological centers and the largest tracts of tropical forest in Mexico.
Calakmul is part of the Selva Maya Forest, the second largest forest tract in the Americas after the Amazon. The Selva Maya includes continuous protected areas and tropical forest corridors extending from the southern Yucatan of Mexico to Guatemala and Belize.
(formerly Friends of Calakmul) and the Global Conservation Fund (GCF) reached an agreement in 2007 with a local community known as the Pustunich Ejido to protect more than 23,000 hectares of rain forest in the buffer zone of the Reserve.
By signing successive permanent conservation contracts with Pustunich and other local ejidos, Rainforest2Reef and the communities helped protect 56,700 hectares in the buffer zone of the Reserve. The program safeguards habitat for key species such as jaguars, crocodile, duck-billed tree frogs and anteaters.
GCF is covering the transactional costs associated with bringing these additional parcels of land under contract, annual payments to ejidos and the continued monitoring of the properties. Rainforest2Reef intends to create an endowment fund with GCF support to provide resources to compensate the communities and manage these areas for the long term.