In-country updates

Forestry tour and trade fair in Las Verapaces, Guatemala. Photo: Programa Forestal Nacional (Pfn) Guatemala, 2011 Trade fair promotes business and sustainable forestry in Las Verapaces

The central Guatemalan region Las Verapaces holds trade fair which seeks to create business opportunities among members of the forestry sector and promote investments for the export of forest goods, as well as to promote a wider appreciation of forestry culture among Guatemalan society.

13 January 2012
Chicle gum ready for exportation © ACOFOP, Guatemala. Economic potential of Guatemala’s non-timber forest products

Seeds from the breadnut fruit, leaves from the xate ornamental palm and chicle (a natural gum) are just some of the products harvested by members of Guatemala’s National Alliance of Community Forest Organizations (the ‘Alianza’) as an economic forest management alternative to the timber trade.

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22 December 2011


guatemala mapChallenges that are faced by forest communities in Guatemala, such as illegal logging, and limited access to resources, finance and technical assistance, were the issues that surrounded stakeholder discussions held in Guatemala, led by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

These discussions identified four main spheres of work that GFP Guatemala now focuses on, in its effort to support communities facing these challenges: governance and participation; financing instruments; information and communication; and finally, capacity strengthening for forest management within communities – for both government and non-governmental organisations.

One of the initial projects GFP Guatemala was involved with was to support the development of a National Alliance of Community Forest Organisations. This Alliance represents more than 400 community groups, with a membership between them of around 77,000 people who depend on forests in Guatemala.

The Alliance was set up to ensure that the voices of marginalized groups can be heard more clearly at both the national and international levels, and GFP has also supported the implementation of a Training Plan through the Alliance, to build local capacity in areas they have identified.

In recent months, activities in Guatemala have begun looking at financial instruments that can benefit smallholders. This has been done through the promotion of studies and analysis to provide a basis for policy updates, and through enabling stakeholders to both access existing financial instruments and looking to create and adapt new ones appropriate for smallholders.

In-Country GFP Coordinator and Partner:

Ogden Antonio Rodas, Programa Forestal Nacional de Guatemala

T: (502) 23214520