Guatemala’s forest law does not consider consultation of other interested parties when granting licences for forest use with commercial ends, and the principal requirement is to present a Management Plan, which considers a series of requirements set down in the law.
However, for operating activities in Protected Areas, the legislation requires environmental impact assessments (EIA) to be carried out, under the specifications of the Environment Ministry’s Regulation on environmental evaluation, monitoring and tracking. Title VIII of the stipulated regulation is called “Public Participation”, and details a series of basic requirements for public participation in all activities, works, industries or projects which might have an environmental impact.
For this purpose the MARN has a database detailing all the consultations carried out under this regulation, which can be consulted by interested parties:
http://www.marn.gob.gt/aplicaciones/consultapub/Default.aspx. However, a number of studies reveal that there is a degree of apathy amongst citizens regarding environmental issues, with little participation of civil society, which makes it impossible to know the position of private individuals with regard to certain projects. In addition, the consultation process for the EIA is at the discretion of the MARN, which determines public participation. Furthermore, the MARN has few resources to administer the system of EIAs, which also affects the legally required consultation process. Finally, the EIA process and the required consultations are considered time-consuming by the people legally obliged to carry them out.
|Title||a. Law on Protected Areas (Decree 4-89)
b. Regulation for Evaluation, Monitoring and Environmental Tracking (Government Agreement 431-2007)
|Organisation||a. National Council of Protected Areas – CONAP
b. Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources – MARN
|Date||a. 7 February 1989
b. 7 September 2007