Guatemala map

Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species, which contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot. It has 14 ecoregions ranging from mangrove forests to both ocean littorals with 5 different ecosystems. Although Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America, it faces many social problems and is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Some of Guatemala's main exports are fruits, vegetables, flowers, handicrafts, and cloth. In the face of a rising demand for biofuels, the country is growing and exporting an increasing amount of raw materials for biofuel production, especially sugar cane and palm oil. (Wikipedia)

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
10,716,000 hectares
Area of forest
33.0% of land area
Area of agriculture
34.7% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
9.6% of land area


16.3 million
Population growth
2.0% annually
Rural population

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
GDP per person
3903.50 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
0.90 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
Bonn Challenge Commitments
National pledge
Goal year
Date committed
Area committed
1,200,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
377 million USD
Potential climate benefit
0.11 GtCO2 sequestered
Main forest types
Tropical/subtropical coniferous forests
Tropical/subtropical moist broadleaf forest
Highlighted benefits

In September 2014 Guatemala committed to restore 1.2 million hectares of degraded and deforested land as a contribution to the Bonn Challenge. Earlier that year, in an interview for the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, Andre Najera described the context for restoration in Guatemala and why Guatemala could contribute to the Bonn Challenge. 

Association of Guatemalan Private Natural Reserves
Goal year
Date committed
Area committed
40,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
13 million USD
National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
825,026 hectares
Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) – FCPF
Propuesta de preparacion, Version Revisada, Guatemala (2013)

In section 2b REDD+ Strategy Options (page 85), two relevant options are presented: Option (iv) on strengthening existing programs and creating new mechanisms of incentives for conservation, protection and management of forests, agroforestry systems and energy forestry production activities (p. 87) for US$ 124,000 and Option (vi) on romotion of productive activities and livelihoods compatible with the conservation and sustainable management of forests and agroforestry landscapes (community forestry, agroforestry systems, watershed protection) (p. 88) for US$ 360,000.

National Forest and/or Climate Strategy and/or Low Carbon Development Strategy
Restoration target
805,026 hectares
PINFOR (Forest Incentive Program)

The Forest Incentive Program (PINFOR) includes the goal of regenerating 285,000 ha of forests from 1997-2017 (p. 74)/plant 285,000 ha of forest plantations. According to PINAFOR, achieved reforestation from 1998-2012 was 112,341 ha, leaving a goal of 190,849 ha from 2010-2016.

National Strategy for Biodiversity and Plan of Action 2012-2022

The strategy includes plans for the restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services (Strategy 5), with a budget of US$ 15.2 million to develop restoration pilot projects (page 49).

A National Restoration Program was also scheduled to be developed (and was completed in 2014).

Guatemala Forest Policy (1999)

The Guatemala Forest Policy aims to restore through plantation forestry, agroforestry and silvo-pastoral systems (p.12). 

National Climate Change Policy (2009)

The Policy identifies the goals of (i) Reducing vulnerability and adaptation and (ii) Mitigation, addressed through sustainable forest management for conservation and carbon sinks, and promoting investment to increase forest stands (p. 14-15).

National Restoration Strategy (Estrategia Nacional de Restauracion del Paisaje Foresetal: Mecanismo para el Desarrollo Rural Sostenible de Guatemala 2015-2045) (2015)

The ENRPF has a total of 1,200,000 ha of FLR activities.We are counting:

118,530 ha (every 5 years) (2015-2020 goal) (p. 13)

  • 8,750 ha riparian
  • 43,333 ha forest land production
  • 20,625 ha agroforestry
  • 21,667 ha agroforestry
  • 20,833 ha silvo-pastoral
  • 3,322 ha protected areas

488,820 ha (2015-2045) (p. 14)

  • 138,750 ha agroforestry
  • 10,000 ha agroforestry
  • 16,450 ha forest land production
  • 35,000 ha silvo-pastoral
  • 131,120 ha forest land protection
  • 5,000 ha mangroves
  • 52,500 ha coastal forests
  • 100,000 ha protected areas
Incentive Program for Small landholders for forestry or agroforestry
  • 779 ha forest plantation (2010-2012)
  • 1,048 ha agroforestry systems (2010-2012)
  • 5,000 ha  Mangrove restoration
Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
Restoration target
20,000 hectares
Sustainable Forest Management and Multiple Global Environmental Benefits

This project was endorsed in July 2013 for a duration of 60 months, to achieve: 5,160 ha dry forest restored by planting native species and natural regeneration (p. 2) and 14,840 ha agroforestry activities (p. 9). The project comes with financing of a $4.4 M grant and $13.16 M co-financing, for a total of $17.56 M.

Emission Reduction Program Idea Note (ER-PIN) – FCPF
Guatemala National Emission Reduction Program: Through Strengthening Forestry Governance in Vulnerable Communities (2014)

The Emission Reduction Program proposes REDD+ actions including incentives and financial mechanisms to increase carbon stocks, and incentives for conservation and sustainable management of natural forests (p. 23). Specifically, these incentives target restoration with broad leaf and conifer species, reforestation through agroforestry plantations and silvo-pastoral systems, and natural regeneration (p. 24). The cost for this program from 2010-2020 is US$ 488.59 million (p. 33).

FLR Assessments

Guatemala’s national restoration strategy says restoration is "oriented to recover, maintain and optimise biodiversity and flow of ecosystem goods and services for development, adjusted to the system of local values and beliefs and implemented with an inter-sectorial approach process".

Their opportunity area is 3,989,465. Take a look at the map: 

Guatemala opportunity map


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