Conserving the 5 Great Forests

An alliance that includes countries, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities has announced a commitment to protect 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.

5 Great Forests at COP26

During COP26, in collaboration with our partners, we are convening events to raise awareness of the importance of Mesoamerica's 5 Great Forests, and what we can all do protect them.

Join us during these events—virtually or in-person—and be part of the change.


The 5 great forests provide important ecosystem services to 5 million people, including clean water, clean air, food security, and climate stability.


The five great forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate: in the last 15 years, three have been reduced by almost one-quarter in size, with illegal cattle ranching responsible for more than 90 percent of recent deforestation. Recently, WCS's Jeremy Radachowsky documented this on a trek through part of the region.

At the COP25 meetings in Madrid, Central American governments, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and NGOs joined together in an alliance to protect the five great forests of Mesoamerica.

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Through this initiative, collaborating partners are committing to addressing the drivers of deforestation, especially illegal cattle ranching.

Press Release

Alliance Presents During UN Conference

For the first time, the eight countries of Central America presented their regional climate action plan, which commits to protect Mesoamerica’s five great forests as part of the natural solution to the climate crisis.

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In the Media

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Central American Countries Pledge to Protect 5 Great Forests

The promise to shield the region's remaining intact forests is a natural solution to the global climate crisis, writes Mongabay.

Indigenous groups rally to protect Latin America's threatened forests

The coalition of governments, indigenous people, green groups and others, writes Reuters, announced a plan to protect 10 million hectares of forests and degraded land inside those forests - an area roughly the size of Guatemala - by 2030.

Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and NGOs Look To Protect Forests

Central American governments, Indigenous Peoples, local communities and NGOs, writes Value Walk, create novel partnership to safeguard forests as natural solution to climate change.

En Español

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