The Mopan Maya of southern Belize are like many other indigenous cultures around the globe in that the central government has "given" them a reservation, from which they are expected to support themselves. However, the traditional areas where the Mopan hunt and collect forest products include territory outside the reservation, lands to which the Mopan have no legal claim and over which they have no influence, even though management decisions affect their lifeways (Wilk and Chapin 1989). Tensions are rising between the Mopan and the central government over access to, control over, and management of lands they use, particularly over the government's granting of logging concessions in the Columbia River Forest Reserve... [Field note based on dissertation ...]
Keywords: Belize, cultural ecology, forest conservation, indigenous use
Mr. STEINBERG is a doctoral candidate in geography at Louisiana State University.
To contact the author: Michael K. Steinberg
Department of Geography and Anthropology
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-4105
Phone: (504) 388-5942 dept, (504) 9280-1281