In the country there are a number of institutional initiatives which incorporate aspects of the forest sector in the environmental monitoring processes, with publications issued, though not on a regular basis. On the governmental level, the bodies which assess and monitor the actions of the forest sector are: the National Forest Programme and, to a lesser degree, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman, but these bodies do not specifically oversee governance and forest operations. The reports and publications issued by these bodies are to be found scattered around a number of internet websites, and are also physically available in institutional documentation centres, but are not disseminated widely.
The National Forest Programme (PFN) is set up as a forum to “identify, define and seek agreement on a new understanding of forest-environmental development, through a comprehensive mechanism of analysis, study, projections and proposals for action”. This has led to a number of evaluations of forest policy, identification of stakeholders and evaluation of instruments of forest policy, all tending towards the creation of a new forest policy. The other officially recognised supervisory body (the Environmental Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman) only produces an annual report with very little information on the forest sector.
Amongst the academic initiatives devoted to environmental monitoring, which includes forest aspects, there is the Rafael Landivar University and its Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment (IARNA), which are recognised (although not officially) as one of the supervisors of the forest sector most able to monitor forest operations and forest governance. They publish an Environmental Profile of Guatemala every year, which is highly respected, and assist the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources with its annual reports.
There are also other initiatives, such as the Environmental Observatory (http://www.oag.org.gt/), which act as a point of coordination for monitoring of the environmental and forest sector. One problem which continues to exist is finding effective mechanisms to involve the indigenous organisations and communities in these forest monitoring processes to encourage an improved forest culture.
|Title||Strategy to be carried out periodically (PDH) and the Forest Action Plan (PFN)|
|Organisation||Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman Environmental Ombudsman (PDH) and Guatemala’s National Forest Programme (PFN)|