Identifying the patterns of land cover change (LCC) and their main proximate causes and underlying driving forces in tropical rainforests is an urgent task for designing adequate management and conservation policies. The Lachuá region maintains the largest lowland rainforest remnant in Guatemala, but it has been highly deforested and fragmented during the last decades. This is the first paper to describe the patterns of LCC and the associated political and socioeconomic factors in the region over the last 50� years.
Cloud forest in the Central Highlands of Guatemala provides important ecosystem services for the Q’eqchi’ Maya but has been disappearing at an increasing rate in recent decades. This research documents changes in cloud forest cover, explores some contributing factors to deforestation, and considers forest preservation and food security implications for Q’eqchi’ communities. We used a transdisciplinary framework that synthesized remote sensing/GIS analysis of land cover change, focus group dialogs, and surveys.
The existing legal framework for water resources management in Guatemala is obsolete, inconsistent and not enforced. To bridge the gap, many indigenous and non-indigenous communities throughout the country successfully regulate water use through oral or written bylaws. This paper classifies the rules and practices adopted by local communities in order to define their scope and anticipate options to recognize customary water rights in future statutory legislation, as well as under the current legal regime, consistently with the public interest.
Based on a comparative case study of four community forestry enterprises in Guatemala and Mexico, we examine the relationship between user group characteristics and state allocation of tenure bundles. Using Schlager and Ostrom's four levels of tenure bundles and collective action theory, we illustrate how tenure bundles and collective action costs interact to either promote or create disincentives for conservation and communal economic benefits.
This report is based on a study of the adoption and use of improved open-pollinated varieties and hybrids by small-scale farmers in the Department of Jutiapa, Guatemala. The majority of maize producers in Guatemala are small-scale subsistence farmers. Approximately 60% of the basic grains produced in the country are grown on farmers that are too small to satisfy the basic nutritional needs of a typical family (5-6 persons). Increasing yields through the use of new technologies is seen as a critical step to ensuring adequate nutrition and increasing farmer income in the area.
In this paper, we ask what the effects of migration and remittances are on land tenure, agriculture and forests, based on empirical evidence from four rural communities in Guatemala. Our results suggest that remittances improve migrant families' access to agricultural land which – depending on the context – fosters more equitable local land distribution patterns or land concentration by migrant families. Changes in the political economy of the country also combine to stimulate these patterns, while remittances contribute to secure land rights held by migrant households.
Worldwide, fruit-tree-based agroforestry systems have been only modestly studied, although they are common on smallholder farms. Such systems based on apple (Malus spp.), peach (Prunus spp.), and pear (Pyrus spp.) are common in northwest Guatemala as low intensity homegardens and are known to increase total farm productivity in communities where farm size is a limiting factor.
This paper analyses some key findings emerged in the study of the Mayan community of S. Jos Sinach, located in the Guatemalan Highlands. The research highlights how colonial and post-colonial legislation influences the actual land tenure and hampers the development of the community. Little land ownership together with high demographic growth lead to insufficient crop production. As a consequence, human pressure on S. Jos forest and seasonal migration to sugar cane plantations of the Pacific Coast is carried out by householders in order to ensure subsistence to their families.
Governments need the capacity to manage price instability and its social consequences; but in countries where people suffer most, they are least able to respond, because of limited fiscal and institutional resources. This article argues that policies used by middle- and high-income countries are unsuitable for poorer, agricultural countries; it recommends instead that these nations promote broader access to land and raise land productivity. The authors explain why instruments used by richer countries, such as those that control prices and cheapen food, fail in poorer countries.