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Guatemala : Indicators

2011 > 20 Key Indicators > Forest Infractions

The Forest Law, the Regulation of the Forest Law and the Regulation on the Movement of Forest Products has ruels on the penalties for forest infractions, and also Chapter II, Title VI, of Book I of the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code applies to forest matters. The Ministry of Interior publishes articles on forest infractions, which it is obliged to do by the Law of Access to Public information, but there is no specific section for this purpose.

The Public Prosecutor for Crimes against the Environment is the body responsible for exercising criminal proceedings and directing investigations into environmental crime, while the Division for Protection of Nature (DIPRONA) is a unit of the National Civil Police responsible for surveillance of natural assets/resources across the national territory, but only has a presence in eleven departments of the country, out of a total of 22. This means that there is no institutional capacity to comprehensively deal with the problem of forest infractions. Not a great deal of information is available on the website of either the Ministry of the Interior, the Judicial Body or the National Institute of Forests, but a freedom of information request for information can be made to these entities. DIPRONA meanwhile does not count on a webpage.

In addition to the above, the National Institute of Forests has just formed an Inter-institutional Committee on Illegal Logging (, which includes a plan to deal with the problem of illegality, in coordination with the Judicial Body, the Public Prosecutor, DIPRONA and the Ministry of the Interior, amongst others. According to the report published by this Committee (http://www.profor.info/profor/sites/profor.info/files/publication/Guatemala-forestfees.pdf), illegal uses of forest products amount to 95.2%, while only 4.8% is legal. A report produced by the Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment points out that the causes of the illegality are the “high demand for forest products, procedures which do not promote in legal forest management, the existence of a market for illegal products [and] the poor ability of institutions to supervise lawful activities and to pursue illicit activities.” However, this analysis must be taken with caution, given that many illegal forest activities relate to the informal use of forests by rural communities unversed in forest legislation, as opposed to the consciously illegal use of forest products.

Title a. Penal Code
b. Forest Law
c. Regulation of the Forest Law
d. Regulation on the Movement of Forest Products
e. Law of Access to Public Information
Organisation Ministry of Interior
National Institute of Forests
National Police, Division for Protection of Nature
Public Ministry
Date a. 1973
b. 1996
c. 2005
d. 2004
e. 2008

http://www.sip.marn.gob.gt/public/docs/decreto_57_2008.pdf y

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