The state of Quintana Roo is located in the eastern portion of the Mexican Republic, with its boundary to the east with the Caribbean Sea and to the north with the Gulf of Mexico and the state of Yucatan, to the west it borders the state of Campeche and to the south with Belize and Guatemala along a border of just over 180 km. The territorial extension is of approximately 5 million hectares occupying the 19th place in territorial extension in Mexico, although there is a territorial dispute with Campeche for little more than 1/2 million hectares. The state has approximately 1000 km of coastline and 10 municipalities. Of the little more than 5 million hectares of state territory, about 4,160,000 ha are currently covered by dense vegetation
The three states in Yucatán Peninsula (Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán) share certain similar ecological and social characteristics, which enable certain dynamics to be analyzed jointly. In Yucatán Peninsula, most of the natural forest is tropical (mainly mid-height and lowland, with very few areas
of mountain forest) and parts of this area are tall grassland (secondary or replacement forest, which forms part of a long rotation of the milpa crop-growing system).
There are currently different estimations of the assessment of deforestation rates due to the different definitions of forest, methods, time periods studied and scales of analysis (Rueda, 2010), and most studies focus on the loss and partial recovery of forest cover, paying particular attention to the regions in the center and south of the Peninsula (Turner et al., 2004; Bray and Klepeis, 2005; Vester et al., 2007; Ellis and Porter-Bolland, 2008), probably related to the fact that this part of the Peninsula is designated a biological corridor.
For the period from 1993 to 2002, the predominant process in Quintana Roo was the degradation of evergreen tropical forests. Quintana Roo recorded a higher rate of degradation than deforestation; one important difference in the state is that between 2002 and 2007 there was a major trend of change to human settlements and infrastructure, which was an important factor in deforestation.