Forest Governance Project: Mayan communities, Guatemala

The Forest Governance Project, financed by the European Union, is developed in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, by a consortium of indigenous and community based organizations led by ICCO. In the Guatemalan regions of Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, Verapaces, San Marcos and Jutiapa, it is implemented by UTZ CHE, to strengthen operational capacities of agroforestry communities and their effective involvement in forest governance and sustainable management.

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  • ID: NL-KVK-56484038-C_006275
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Utz Che is a Guatemalan Community Forestry Association representing around 40 community based organizations. Its affiliates have approximately 32,500 members including indigenous and peasant from all over Guatemala, dedicated to sustainable management of their forests, forest plantations, mangrove, biodiversity and other natural resources.

Utz Che was formed with the objective of speaking with one voice on rights and forestry incentive programs, build capacities of its members and exchange information. Utz Che also belongs to the National Association of Community Forestry Organizations (ANOFCG), made up of 300 community-based organizations with more than 77,000 associates, 400,000 beneficiaries and more than 400,000 hectares of FSC-certified forests.

In the framework of this project, Utz Che will strengthen alliances with the networks and platforms of users of the Forest Incentive Programs (PINPEP and PROBOSQUE) auditing the responsible and equitable distribution of public resources. Through the systematization of cases of Indigenous Community Forestry, alliances with universities and environmental NGOs will be increased.
Forest Governance Project: Mayan communities, Guatemala

Target group

- 190 Community Based Organizations
- 600 Communities
- 500.000 people


The action seeks to consolidate decision-making dynamics and governance measures based on inclusive dialogue, respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and responsiveness of state authorities. This opening of dialogue and democratization of decision-making will allow the effective fulfillment of a legal framework that already exists, but which application is historically limited by the lack of recognition of indigenous communities as subjects of law. Increased capacities of indigenous authorities and organizations, as well as of forest, peasant and fishing communities will have a direct impact on biodiversity conservation and restoration, sustainable management and protection of Mesoamerican forests.

Goals overview

The project aims to strengthen the contribution of non-state actors in the governance and sustainable management of forests, and their contribution to the development of their country.

The specific goals are to:
- Consolidate the organizational, institutional and leadership capacities of communities-based organizations and indigenous leaders.
- Improve transparency and access to public information on the environmental, forestry and land use sector in Guatemala, with extensive monitoring by civil society and indigenous peoples. Each year a specific report will be published containing relevant indicator of access to public information.
-Build a permanent mechanism for the renewal of capacities based on exchange processes, organizational improvements and local governance at local and regional scale.
- Reduce the barriers for the effective participation of civil society, Indigenous Peoples and forest communities in forest governance, adopting policy measures that ensure inclusion, equity, responsibility, transparency and knowledge of forestry practices.
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