Guatemala does not have an official map which determines tenure and use of forests in the country; however, there are a number of initiatives which have made efforts to draw up maps for specific topics. In fact, this lack of a national land register providing evidence of a record of land rights in Guatemala is one of the main causes of agricultural conflict in the country (1); according to recent figures from the Secretariat of Agricultural Affairs in the Office of the President of the Republic, there is an estimated total of 1,224 conflicts over land (2). On this point, the Land Information Register Law presents an opportunity to register ownership and property information. Article 24 defines the land register/cadastre as a basic, graphic and descriptive record of property, designed to provide certainty and legal security regarding land ownership, tenure and use (3). There is an attempt to create a national map, centralising all the details on land tenure nationwide, with the intention of clearing up existing ambiguity, and guaranteeing legal security of land.
The various initiatives in hand for drawing up maps include: efforts made jointly by academic, public and civil society organisations, and the drawing up of national mapping of communal lands (4); work related to mapping of Guatemala’s Areas Protected by CONAP (5), with particular emphasis on forest licences in Petén; maps of forest coverage in Guatemala and the capacity for land use (6). Amongst other initiatives is the interactive map of permanent plots which have received incentives, and maps detailing the distribution of species, both of which are the work of the INAB (7).
The national forest inventory 2002-2003 estimates that possession of forests in Guatemala was the following: 34% national ownership, 8% municipal ownership, 38% private ownership, 15% communal ownership, and 5% undetermined. There are no updated figures on land tenure for forests in Guatemala (8).
1. López, Rosa and Monzón, Ivan. (2008). Para mediar conflictos de la tierra: Reflexiones y lecciones aprendidas en Guatemala (Mediation of land conflicts: Reflections and lessons learnt in Guatemala). Institute of Transformation of Conflicts for Building Peace in Guatemala –INTRAPAZ/URL. 84 p. Available at: http://biblio3.url.edu.gt/Libros/2011/para_mediar.pdf
2. Press Bulletin No. 9. Secretariat of Agricultural Affairs in the Office of the President of the Republic. Available at: http://portal.saa.gob.gt/images/stories/Boletines/2012/boletin%2009%20saa.pdf
3. Congress of the Republic of Guatemala. (2005). Land Information Register Law (Legislative Decree 41-2005). Available at: http://www.ric.gob.gt/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Ley-del-RIC-versi%C3%B3n-con-portada.pdf
4. Regional maps of communal lands can be checked on the following website: http://www.tierrascomunales.org/index.php/publicaciones-2/mapas-2
5. Map of the Guatemalan system of protected areas: http://www.conap.gob.gt/quienes-somos/mapas/mapas-por-departamento-1/?searchterm=mapas; http://www.conap.gob.gt/quienes-somos/mapas/mapas-tematicos-1/?searchterm=mapas.
6. The map of forest coverage can be consulted on the following page: http://www.conap.gob.gt/Members/admin/documentos/duc/Cobertura%20Forestal%202010%20y%20Dinamica%202006-2010.pdf
7. Consult the following page: http://www.conap.gob.gt/quienes-somos/mapas/mapas-por-departamento-1/?searchterm=mapas
8. INAB-FAO (2004). National Forest Inventory 2002-2003. Project for Evaluation of forest resources. Working Document No. 92. Available at: http://www.infoiarna.org.gt/media/file/areas/forest/documentos/nac/IFN_Guatemala_FAO-INAB.pdf
|Title||a. Land Information Register Law (Decree 41-2005)
b. Map of coverage of forest incentives
|Organisation||a. Land Information Register