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SATIIM Launches Maya Land Registry

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On August 9, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the Tenth Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management is launching the Maya Lands Registry.
In 2015, the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered the Belize government to “create an effective mechanism” to identify and protect Mayan lands in accordance with their traditional governance. Two years later and still no mechanism exists.
“Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the Court order, Crique Sarco took the matter into their own hands,” said said Froyla Tzalam, SATIIM Executive Director.
Crique Sarco was the first Maya community to ask for SATIIM’s assistance to prepare for the legal mechanism specified in the CCJ ruling. SATIIM and Crique Sarco developed a Mayan model that identified traditional territorial boundaries and resolved boundary conflicts.
The maps are the initial entry in the listing of customary land usage and delineation that will be collected in the Maya Land Registry.
“This is an historic moment, a big step in a long process ahead,” said Tzalam. “We celebrate that the Maya have taken the initiative to implement the CCJ order.”