Mirador Basin Project
The Cradle of Maya Civilization
Rainforest Conservation Efforts in the Mirador Basin
The Mirador Basin Project and its partner associations firmly believe that the best models for rainforest preservation are archaeological parks or preserves because they generate the economic justification to protect the forest. It is difficult in developing countries to maintain large tracts of forest without providing for the economic well-being of the local inhabitants. Efforts to stem the deforestation began with the development of logging concessions and these efforts have protected a portion of the central PetÚn rainforest. However, the development of the Mirador Basin as a roadless wilderness archaeological preserve will provide even greater economic opportunity for communities and concessions. Through proper development of the world-class archaeological sites contained therein, conservation of this area will have a far greater positive economic impact for the communities and the country of Guatemala than existing logging or slash and burn strategies.
There are five known types of tropical forest in the Mirador Basin, representing a high biodiversity not found in other areas of Central America. This photograph shows an area of the western Mirador Basin with a forest type called Zapotales which consists of the largest trees and palms in the Mirador Basin.
The Mirador Basin represents the last refuge of tropical flora and fauna in Central America. Because it borders the preserves of Tikal national park, the eastern PetÚn and the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in southern Mexico creating an area large enough to guarantee the survival of threatened species.
The Mirador Basin represents a strong alternative to deforestation and destruction of tropical forests in the western PetÚn.