The current Forest Law was decreed in 1996 (the sixth forest law in Guatemala’s history), and its regulation of 2005 contains the legal provisions for regulating the system of governance for the forest sector in Guatemala. To strengthen the process of regulation and governance in the forest sector, the country is generating a series of political and legal instruments to promote development of the sector. The most recent law promulgated in the country is Decree 51-2010, the law on forestry incentives for owners of small areas of land with a forest or agricultural-forest vocation, issued on 17 November 2010. At the date of writing, no versions had been translated into indigenous languages. Some regulations have been summarised on the National Forests Institute (INAB) website. Local communities can request the information from their regional INAB office, and the latter are obliged to reply.
Despite the fact that Guatemala’s current laws provide quite a complete legal framework for governance of the forest sector, there are a number of studies which confirm a deep-rooted view of forests as obstacles for development, thereby leading to their destruction and deterioration.
A study drawn up by the Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment in 2009 provides evidence that forest legislation is not being applied in a uniform manner throughout the country, because of a number of factors in the application of environmental justice, limiting factors in forest management, valuation of the forest resource, market aspects and monitoring of illegal practices. The legislation is particularly deficient in the area of implementation: it is estimated that 95% of forest activities are carried out illegally (1).
1. Monterroso, O. (2011) Evaluación de la política forestal de Guatemala a diez años de su implementación. (Evaluation of Guatemala’s Forest Policy ten years after its implementation). National Council for Standards in Sustainable Forest Management for Guatemala, National Forest Programme, National Forests Institute and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Available at: (http://www.profor.info/sites/profor.info/files/publication/Guatemala-forestfees.pdf)
|Title||a. Forest Law (Decree 101-96)
b. Regulation for the Forest Law contained in Ruling 4.23.2005 of the Governing Body.
c. Decree Number 4-89 Law on Protected Areas (4-89)
d. Law on Protection and Improvement of the Environment (Decree 68-86)
|Organisation||a. National Forests Institute (INAB)
b. National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP)
c. Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN)
|Date||a. 2 December 1996
c. 10 January 1989
d. 5 December 1986
b. http://188.8.131.52/Documentos/Reglamentos/Reglamento%20de%20la%20Ley%20Forestal.pdf (INAB)