Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening Environmental Governance in the face of Climate Risks in Guatemala
Project ID:00067167Description:MDGF-1740-E-GTM Env Climate
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Oct 2007
MDGF Environ Climate Chg
End Date*: 3 Feb 2012
Country: Guatemala Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The programme for enhancing environmental governance practices in climate change adaptation focuses particularly on water resources and covers 6 departments of Guatemala known as the Corridor Seco. The intervention supports the government priorities in the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy and the National Policy for Food Security. The strategy was to develop and enhance the capacity of national counterparts to adopt proper legislation and procedures, including at the municipal level, for natural resource management. At the same time, activities were undertaken that benefited the population and demonstrated how the incorporation of new policies and ordinances could improve the actual management of natural resources. Four outcomes structured the joint programme and demonstrated practical benefits of improved natural resource management practices, including better domestic use of water and improved agricultural practices.

Under the first outcome, several policies were developed and implemented at the municipal and departmental levels, leading to better management of the natural resources in the Corredor Seco region. Linkages with the National level through the Planning and Programming Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic (SEGEPLAN) also contributed to enhanced coordination across the government levels and institutions.

Under the second outcome practical results were achieved through the implementation of 19 productive projects for families and communities that were further included into municipal budgets also leading to municipalities assuming a more active role in the management of natural resources.

Within the third outcome; 66 communities were trained and implemented actions for integral water use, while 23 projects of environmentally friendly agriculture were undertaken and municipal plans for water and sanitation were developed.

The fourth outcome forged strategic alliances for the micro watershed committees in order to design and implement payment or compensation schemes for environmental services.


Outcome 1:

Government institutions in the Corredor Seco region generate proposals to implement, in a coordinated way,  public policy instruments around environmental governance.

Outcome achievements:

  • 17 municipal policies for natural resource management and 2 departmental policies for hydro-forestry and 1 public policy for food security were established, compared to the target of at least one public municipal policy developed.  In one department there was no interest to obtain support to develop public policies but instead for support for a hydro-forestry policy (Chiquimula). Dialogue round tables were established that were not in the original planning document but proved necessary to articulate interventions given the inadequate environmental governance structures.
  • A communications plan on climate change adaptation and its linkages to the MDGs, also not foreseen in the programme document, was developed to reach the local population.
  • There is a better understanding from the programme municipalities on the need to work in a coordinated manner with the Planning and Programming Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic (SEGEPLAN) to ensure that municipal development plans are also inclusive of natural resource management. At the beginning of the JP there were no plans for water use, something the programme remedied. Participative planning processes were undertaken in San Miguel and Rabinal and a diagnosis was done covering both hydrological supply and demand needs.


Outcome 2:

Families and community organizations are actively involved in decision making processes to manage the organization of natural resources in Corredor Seco.

Outcome achievements:

  • In various departments, the technical support provided led to improvement in the governance structures. For example in Baja Verapaz, as a result of the training and sensitization activities, 19 projects on natural resource management and natural resource productive schemes were proposed at the municipal level and included in the municipal budgets. In other municipalities changes also took place to improve the governance system, for example through municipal ordinances in Salamá, San Miguel Chicaj and Rabinal to regulate the productive and sustainable use of water, soil and forest. As a result the Municipal Forestry Office is responsible for natural resource management.


Outcome 3:

Communities, municipal governments and associations exercise good practices on whole use of water (domestic consumption and sustainable agriculture).

Outcome achievements:

  • 66 communities implemented actions for integral water use with support from the municipalities, and 2 municipal plans for integral water use were revised and approved. 6 municipal plans for water and sanitation were developed and 3 were approved by the municipal councils targeting both population and schools. Beneficiaries of water and sanitation were 9,702 persons (2,782 women) and at the school level 8,113 students (3,995 girls) and 426 teachers (270 women).
  • 6,780 persons were trained by the programme in climate change adaptation from the perspective of natural resource management, including community leaders from 114 communities and 138 local organizations and 10 watershed management committees.
  • 23 projects were undertaken in which 349 hectares of environmentally friendly agricultural practices were established. Of these 10 (43.5%) were well accepted by the producers. 920 families of 36 communities from 6 watersheds benefited from good production practices that incorporate climate change adaptation measures. 36 community development councils were strengthened in natural resource management. 7 municipal corporations were strengthened in their natural resource management capacity.
  • Various energy saving measures were undertaken (for example 44 families received fuel-efficient stove with 66% reduced wood consumption) to reduce the rate of deforestation.
  • It is estimated that from the training on environmentally friendly productive agricultural practices given to the communities, some 28% were women and 65% were indigenous populations.


Outcome 4:

Government institutions, communities, local governments and associations of  the Corredor Seco,  negotiate payment schemes or compensation for environmental services with emphasis on water resources.

Outcome achievements:

  • For the design and implementation of this scheme, strategic partnerships with organizations already working on this aspect were established by the programme. This included alliances with CAFNET, WWF, University King Juan Carlos of Spain, Foundation Defenders of Nature, and MANCOVALLE. This guaranteed the accompaniment of the organized micro-wastershed committees in the Corredor Seco and the design and implementation of payment schemes and/or compensation for environmental services.


Best practices:

  • Training of local partners, communities, municipal institutions, departmental institutions, allows raising knowledge and awareness and is conducive to improved governance decisions related to natural resource management that benefit the communities.


Lessons learned:

  • A baseline was established in order to appraise programme results. However inadequate management of the final evaluation left the programme without a final evaluation to document the results of the intervention.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Guatemala or the lead agency for the programme.

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