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Guatemala : Indicators

2012 > 20 Key Indicators 2012

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Freedom of Information Legislation

The Law on Access to Public Information seeks to guarantee the transparency of the public administration and the right of any person to access public information. There are still obstacles to fulfilment of the law, however it was strengthened by the creation of the Secretariat for Monitoring and Transparency in 2012. Read more...

National Forest Policy

Guatemala’s Forest Policy of 1999 forms the general framework for planning of the country’s forest resources. A process has begun to update this policy, which looks to contextualise forest actions relating to problems of vulnerability and sustainable development. Read more...

Codified Forest Law and Supporting Norms

Guatemala has a specific legal framework for forest issues. There are also a series of laws which strengthen the regulations on forest use, and natural resources in general. The new Forest Law was decreed in 1996 and regulated in 2005. All the environmental legislation is available on various websites of the different environmental bodies, although it has not been translated into indigenous languages. Read more...

Signed VPAs and Other Agreements on Forest Products

Guatemala is a signatory to a series of trade agreements with various countries, notable amongst which is the free trade agreement between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic, and the signing of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America in June 2012. These agreements do not include specific clauses or annexes related to forest products, but the Association Agreement includes a general commitment to improve the application of laws and forest governance. Read more...

Provisions for Transparency in Forest Laws and Norms

Forest laws and regulations do not refer specifically to access to public information in the sector. Rather the Law on Access to Public Information stipulates the obligations of all the public bodies to create Public Information Units. The National System of Statistical Forest Information in Guatemala has been consolidated to disseminate information. Read more...

Recognition of Customary Rights in Forest Laws and Norms

Guatemala’s Political Constitution and the Peace Accords signed in 1996 include commitments to recognise, respect and promote the customary and traditional laws of the communities; however, there is no specific recognition of these laws in forest laws and regulations. A number of evaluations have demonstrated the lack of real recognition of customary laws. Read more...

Formal Procedures for Consultation on New Forest Norms

Although there are no mechanisms in forest legislation for consultations leading to the development of new regulations, Guatemalan legislation considers norms on how communities should be consulted. The forest organisations have instigated processes for consultation and wider involvement in the creation of new regulations on forest matters. Read more...

Legal Right to Free Prior and Informed Consent

There is a normative framework available to the public on different websites which recognises the right to free, prior and informed consent of communities when formulating policies and for the use of natural resources; however, this right has not been regulated by the State, making it difficult to implement the various laws recognising these rights and thereby generating conditions of polarisation between society and the State. Read more...

National Land Tenure Policy

Guatemala has a National Policy for Integrated Rural Development (2009) and an Agrarian Policy (2009), designed to democratise and guarantee the legal certainty of land tenure and ownership in Guatemala. Meanwhile, there is a series of legal instruments which guarantees rights over territories and (communal) lands, such as the Political Constitution of the Republic, the Peace Accords and International Labor Organization convention 169. Read more...

Consultation before Commercial Logging Allocation

The forest law does not consider consulting interested parties or those affected before granting forest use licences. The Management Plan is the principal requirement requested by the INAB. However, in Protected Areas there is a requirement for an Environmental Impact Study to be carried out, involving public participation, as stipulated by the Regulation for Evaluation, Monitoring and Environmental Tracking (Article 72). Read more...

Regulation of Environmental Services

There is no specific law regulating the use and operation of forest environmental services. However, national environmental legislation, together with the international instruments ratified by the country, contains relevant regulations. There are public policies and legal initiatives focussed on improving environmental regulations, such as the climate change bill promoted initially by the MARN, and now backed by the country’s social and environmentalist organisations. Read more...

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The existing legislation is accompanied by political instruments on the development priorities, but none of them constitutes a strategic environmental assessment to provide information on the priorities between different uses of land and natural resources. Read more...

Forest Ownership and Resource Use Maps

Guatemala does not have maps specifically showing forest tenure nationwide. Institutions such as CONAP and INAB, together with other organisations (Universities and study centres), have made efforts to map forest licences, areas of forest incentives, as well as communal lands, which indicate tenure of forest lands. The land information register law presents an opportunity to register ownership and property information. Read more...

Legal Documents for Commercial Logging Operations

Forest licences, which involve a Management Plan, certificates and other requirements established by the forest law, are not available on the website of the National Forests Institute (INAB). However, they can be consulted by interested parties if requested in the respective directorates general of the INAB. Read more...

Reports on the Verification Process of Eligibility of Commercial Operators

Licences or permits for commercialisation of timber are stipulated in the Law on Protected Areas, and in Guatemala’s Forest Law. These requirements involve compliance with a series of technical specifications, and verification processes for the respective Management Plans. However, they do not equate to a process of "due diligence" as proposed by the international initiatives, and the authorities do not publish the results. Read more...

Forest Management Plans

There is no legal requirement to publish Forest Management Plans; however, they are available to any interested parties who request them at the corresponding central or regional offices of the INAB. Read more...

Reports from Independent Forest Monitoring

In Guatemala there are no specific initiatives for independent forest monitoring, although there are initiatives with an environmental approach. However, there are officially recognised bodies which evaluate and monitor actions in the forest sector, including the National Forest Programme and, to a lesser degree, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman, but these do not specifically oversee forest operations. Read more...

Data on the Distribution of Forestry Royalties and Incentives

There is a system for collecting taxes and redistributing royalties from forest operations, and a system of incentives to support landowners in forestry activities. Information on the incentives is available, but there is insufficient information to assess who the beneficiaries are. This lack of detailed information does not allow a detailed analysis of how much support is really needed by smallholders, including the poorest among them, as it is limited to the project area and only consider ownership. Read more...

Information on Forest Law Infractions

Guatemala’s Forest legislation and its regulations set out the offences and penalties applicable to forest matters, but there are no regulations on the compulsory publication of details of those guilty of offences. The websites of the Ministry of the Interior and the Public Prosecutor’s Office do not publish details of forest offenders. Information on cases can be requested from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but this is covered by the stipulations of the Civil Code and may be restricted for cases currently being tried. Read more...

Annual Forest Authority Report

INAB is supposed to produce an annual report on its work, including activities carried out and how its budget is used; however, the last annual report published was in 2009. With the organizational restructuring of INAB and the updating of its website in 2012, neither this report nor the previous ones can be located. The failure to publish a report for 2011 indicates a certain degree of non-compliance with the Law on Access to Public information. Read more...
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