chapter  6
Maya Restoration Agriculture as Conservation for the Twenty-first Century /
Pages 24

Our exploration leaves no doubt regarding the role of the ancient Maya in enriching the composition of the forest, one that today is recognized for its economic values and biodiversity. But the traditional Maya milpa we have described has been commodified and marginalized. Currently, the twin conservation and development schemes for the region compel the exclusion of people from the forest and the expansion of industrial farming strategies, both guaranteed to destroy the forest cover. Without understanding the value of the milpa forest garden cycle and the knowledge of traditional smallholder farmers, conservation designs for the future will fail and we will lose the Maya forest and the knowledge of its stewards, the Maya people.