• A project in UK is helping indigenous communities in Guatemala and Petén to protect and use their ancient as well as traditional medicine.
  • This project is a part of Darwin initiative.

Known as Darwin initiative, a Green Health project is researching the medical use of biodiversity that is based on indigenous healthcare practices. The purpose of this research is to develop mechanisms that will not only help to protect this knowledge, but will also consider ways to use the knowledge to increase the health and prosperity of people in Guatemala who need medical help and care.

Partners of this project include the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), University College London (UCL), and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG). With an initial funding of more than three million quetzals (equal to UK £ 0.28 million) for three years, the project progressed and now it has received an extra allocation of 500,000 quetzals (equal £ 46,882.54). Fighting COVID-19, this project focuses on supporting indigenous communities to overcome the economic hurdles impacting that are associated with it. Further funding is expected to help the Mayan Council of Elders to acquire the tools to protect many species that are at risk due to degradation and loss of habitat.

The British Ambassador in Guatemala, Nick Whittingham, recently met with the Mayan Council of Indigenous Spiritual Leaders of the Southern Peten, ACGERS. Highlighting the benefits ancient traditional medicine in Guatemala, this council is encouraging its use and UK government wants to help them conserve the knowledge of using these medicines in right way.