The 5 Great Forests of Mesoamerica are the last chance of surviving climate change in the region. 

Mesoamerica is a biodiversity hotspot; with only 0.5 percent of the world's land area, the region is home to 7 percent of the world's biological diversity, including rare and endangered species. Natural forests such as the 5 Great Forests of Mesoamerica contain more than six times the carbon of the most degraded forests and hold approximately half of the region's forest carbon stocks. They also provide essential ecosystem services to five million people.

The 5 Great Forests of Mesoamerica are Selva Maya in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; La Moskitia in Nicaragua and Honduras; Indio Maíz-Tortuguero in Nicaragua and Costa Rica; La Amistad in Costa Rica and Panama; and El Darién in Panama and Colombia.

Mesoamerica's most vulnerable populations to climate change, women and men in indigenous and local forest communities, manage and protect half of the remaining forested area in the five forests, depending on their resources for cultural identity, food security, income, and more.

Forests managed by indigenous peoples with secure tenure have much lower deforestation rates than forests outside indigenous lands.

The 5 Great Forests Alliance which includes governments, NGOs, academia,  Indigenous Peoples, and local communities partners, has announced its commitment to protecting the 5 Great Forests of Mesoamerica — the last remaining intact forests from Mexico to Colombia critical for wildlife, carbon sequestration, clean water, and food security to five million people.


The Facts


April 10, 2024

Avian Influenza Virus Threatens Wildlife Across the Globe

With the frightening die-off of animals across the globe due to avian influenza, WCS is calling for governments internationally to treat this growing crisis with the urgency it demands. As we continue to monitor the death of innumerable species and track the movement of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) into mammal populations, we must strengthen the focus on integrating the surveillance of emerging influenza clades in wild birds and mammals to support critical vaccine libraries.
April 9, 2024

Biodiverse Landscapes Fund starts activities in Trifinio

The UK Biodiverse Landscapes Fund is a global initiative covering six valuable biodiversity hotspots around the world. In Mesoamerica it will invest up to approximately US$19 million over the next six years. In Guatemala and Honduras, the fund will cover the areas of the Mayan Jungle, Trifinio and Mosquitia.


Learn more about the initiative here:

We Stand for WildlifeSM