Where we workYa'axché operates within an area known as the Maya Golden Landscape (MGL) in southern Belize. It is centered around the Golden Stream watershed and the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (GSCP). Both GSCP and the 100,000 acre Bladen Nature Reserve (BNR), located in the north of MGL are managed by Ya'axché.
The 770,000-acre Maya Golden Landscape (MGL) is a patchwork of protected areas, private lands, and Hispanic and Mayan communities. The MGL forms the primary southern biological corridor for Belize, which is the only remaining broadleaf forest link between the Maya Mountains and the forested coastal plains of southern Belize. This link is critically important on both a national and regional scale as part of the Mesoamerican biological corridor.
Ya'axché promotes Integrated Landscape Management.The majority of local people have been identified as being "cash poor" by a National Poverty Assessment which identified that 65% of people in the Toledo District live below the poverty line. Whilst most would agree with this, they do not necessarily share the same vision of development that the Government does, and would point out that they are in a fortunate position of being blessed with abundant natural resources.
This corridor becoming increasingly threatened as rapid population growth combined with unsustainable land use practices, are removing the capacity of the land to provide life supporting ecosystem services. Understanding these links between local people and their natural resources, Ya'axché promotes Integrated Landscape Management.This is a holistic approach which aims to ensure that local people's way of life is improved by promoting sustainable and economically viable agricultural practices, but not at the expense of the species and ecosystems that have sustained them in the past and are critical for their future.