An assessment of the 20 evaluation indicators for transparency and forest governance has provided us with a series of lessons learnt:
The regulatory and public policy instruments are too diffuse in relation to forest and environmental management, and in the context of climate change, reduction of poverty and rural development. This dilutes the ability of the State to address current challenges.
Financial difficulties and the precarious nature of the public institutions in the forest sector continue to exist, which affects, inter alia, their ability to meet their obligations in transparency and access to information. This situation partly explains why various transparency indicators have seen a deterioration.
Despite the existence of the Law on Access to Public Information, which guarantees free access to information, there continue to be difficulties in accessing key data and information.
The structural factors which maintain the status quo in terms of inequality in land tenure and access to natural resources continue to exist, despite a number of policies aimed at dealing with these problems.
The change of government, initiatives to reform the Constitution and the trends towards energy and mining licences in the country constitute a "blockage" in government, preventing progress in environmental management initiatives.
Despite the fact that there is a legal framework for citizen participation, based on the Law on Urban and Rural Development Councils, in practice the participation of civil society is not guaranteed. This is particularly true for the indigenous population and rural communities when it comes to determining and prioritising their needs and the respective solutions for their development.
The National Alliance of Community Forest Organisations in Guatemala (AOFCG) can be seen as a key player with specific aims, responding to the visions, proposals and demands of broad sections of the population. Despite its growing ability to unify indigenous and peasant voices, the Alliance still faces major challenges if it is to consolidate its capacity for making a real political influence on decision makers.