Guatemala’s set of environmental laws (based on the Political Constitution of the Republic), and the environmental agreements and international treaties ratified by the country, contain the specific regulations for use, operation and management of forest environmental services, although there is no specific law for this.
Although this regulatory framework contributes to governance as far as use of and access to forest assets are concerned, there are legal gaps which generate conflict over access and use. There are initiatives to regulate the processes of mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and with regard to access to and use of water, although to date there is still no specific legislation. Other bills are working their way through congress, including a Climate Change Bill, which will define more precisely topics which will be related to REDD+ and to trade agreements and the forest sector.
Currently there are forums like the National Climate Change Committee, the Indigenous Committee for Climate Change, and the Forests, Biodiversity and Climate Change Group, with the participation of civil society They are involved in talks on the Climate Change Law, the aim of which is to regulate carbon sequestration and sale.
The opportunities exist to ensure that the Climate Change Law serves as an instrument which can benefit the indigenous communities with communal lands, through payment for environmental services such as carbon sequestration. Advisers to the talks on the implementation of REDD+ (from the CONAP, INAB and MARN) are reaching an agreement with the Office of the Attorney General, to ensure that the distribution of payments for environmental services is in agreement with the percentage of owned land which provides this service – there may be a tax to cover administration of state services. The talks are ongoing and thus the opportunities still exist to influence the law in the aforementioned forums – but the mere fact that 8% of agriculture and livestock producers have 78.2% of the productive land means that payments for environmental services might primarily benefit the richest; this could promote further inequality if there are no proposals for redistribution.
(1) National Statistics Institute, Guatemala (2005) National Agricultural Survey. Guatemala
|Title||a. Forest Law and its regulations
b. Law on Protected Areas and its regulations
c. Law on Protection and Improvement of the Environment and Regulations
d. The set of environmental agreements and international treaties ratified by Guatemala
|Organisation||a. National Forests Institute INAB
b. National Council for Protected Areas CONAP
c. Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources MARN
d. Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources MARN
d. Various dates
|Source||a. INAB: http://126.96.36.199/Paginas%20web/Descargas.aspx
b. CONAP: http://www.sifgua.org.gt/Documentos/Legislacion/Areas%20Protegidas.pdf