Taking into account the recommendations in the 2011 report, and the evaluation of the 20 indicators, it is considered relevant for public organisations, civil society and other stakeholders associated with the forest sector to consider a series of actions aimed at strengthening and improving transparency and forest governance in Guatemala. Several of the recommendations are repeated from 2011 which reflects that progress has not been achieved. They are grouped together under the different stakeholders in the forest sector:
To improve compliance with the Law on Access to Public Information (LAIP), the following are recommended:
- Improve the level of compliance with Article 7 of the LAIP, related to the updating of information on websites, bearing in mind that the National Forests Institute (INAB), the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) continue to have low levels of information. It is recommended that efforts be made to make available to the public the Annual Activity Report for 2011.Improve the level of compliance with Article 10 of the LAIP, increasing accessibility to the information stipulated in the law; in the case of INAB, at the time of writing it has a mere 17 links to official public information on its website.
- Comply with Article 48 of the LAIP, making available to the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) the annual reports on monitoring of access to information. These aspects were not complied with in the last two years (2010 and 2011).
On governance of the forest sector, the following is recommended:
- Continue to promote and strengthen social and municipal participation in the current processes of agreeing new legal and political instruments for forest management (the new programme of forest incentives post- PINFOR, and the updating of the forest policy).
- Provide a more exhaustive analysis in future Annual Reports or Statistical Bulletins or on the website, on the types of owners receiving PINFOR incentives projects under the broad category of small landowners with fewer than 15 ha. This is to make visible the real size of the estates and properties having projects in this category to benefit from PINFOR incentives, and how this is related to the most excluded and poorest sectors of the country's population.
The following recommendations are made regarding the level of transparency:
- The SISCODE must comply with the stipulations of the Law on Access to Public Information, so that citizens can access information on management and implementation of public resources on regional, departmental, municipal and community levels. On departmental (CODEDE) and municipal (COMUDE) levels in particular, the recommendation is to publish and extend the information on forest licences issued, taxes collected and forest incentives projects awarded.
- The environmental bodies (INAB, CONAP, MARN) need to generate and update specific web pages on the different national processes related to environmental and forest management, and regarding the national REDD process, to inform the population of progress, results and the use of public resources.
- Efforts need to be made to draw up summary versions of forest and environmental legislation, and to coordinate actions with the Academy of Mayan Languages to translate new environmental and forest policies and regulations.
As far as the level of governance is concerned, the following is recommended:
- The Ministry of Public Finances must ensure sufficient budgetary allocation so that the forest institutions (INAB, CONAP and MARN) can comply with the legal requirements, including the promotion of reforestation and sustainable forest management through the forest incentives programmes (PINFOR and PINPEP), and the specifications on transparency and access to information.
- The Congress of the Republic needs to speed up approval of the Integrated Rural Development Law (Bill 40-84) and the Framework Law on Climate Change, so that it has mechanisms which ensure fair and sustainable development in communities and can deal with the country's vulnerabilities to climate change.
- The MARN must meet its national commitments and fulfil its functions on Climate Change and REDD, including the Second National Communication on Climate Change.
- Efforts must be made to integrate the different forums in which forest issues are discussed, to encourage a genuine broad process of sustainable forest management in the country.
As far as transparency is concerned, it is recommended that the AOFCG:
- Establish mechanisms to disseminate information at the local level on the Law on Access to Public Information, to promote a culture of accountability.
- Start up a website to distribute and update achievements made in the different dialogues for negotiation.
With regard to governance, the following recommendations are made to organised forest communities:
- In conjunction with the MARN, INAB and CONAP, continue with the parliamentary negotiations to increase public environmental spending to the amounts recommended by the World Bank (1.4% of GDP), to deal with environmental problems in an integrated way.
- Demand the budgetary allocations for the forest incentives programmes (PINFOR and PINPEP) and for environmental bodies.
The following recommendations on the level of transparency are made to indigenous peoples' groups:
- Participate actively, by making proposals, in the spaces for review and negotiation of public policies for the forest sector.
- Disseminate information locally on the Law on Access to Public Information, to promote a culture of accountability.
- Participate in, and make wider use of SISCODE to ensure the incorporation of needs and expectations in development projects, and consider the national problems of environmental deterioration and climate change.
National Forest Programme
With regard to the level of transparency, the following are recommended:
- Communicate widely the results of the different spaces for dialogue currently operating, through the institutional website, to promote a culture of transparency.
- Summarise communications and draw up leaflets in Guatemala's principal Mayan languages, to ensure that achievements are better communicated.
As far as governance is concerned, the following are recommended:
- Continue to promote the participation of civil society and other stakeholders in the thematic forums and the regional round tables on forest policy.
- Join together the various initiatives related to forest management, leading to a more integrated and efficient process for sustainable forest management in the country.