Guatemala’s current National Climate Change Policy was adopted in 2009. It prioritises action in three areas: (i) institutional capacity building on climate change; (ii) adaptation and risk reduction; and (iii) mitigation. It does not mention REDD+ by name, but does reference developing forest carbon projects and accessing forest carbon market mechanisms.
According to its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), Guatemala has decided that REDD+ will form part of a wider National Strategy to Reduce Deforestation (Estrategia Nacional para Reducir Deforestación; ENRD) (MARN 2013). At the time of writing (September 2013) this ENRD has not yet been written. ENRD will be one of two main mitigation strategies in Guatemala, the other being the incipient Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) being supported by the USA.
Several State institutions have also prepared their own climate change policies or strategies. These include the National Council for Protected Areas (Consejo Nacional para Areas Protegidas; CONAP) and the Climate Change unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (Ministerio de Agriculture, Ganadería e Alimentación; MAGA). CONAP’s Guatemalan Agenda for Climate Change in Protected Areas and Biodiversity specifically includes REDD+, whilst MAGA’s draft Strategic Climate Change Strategy refers to participation in forest carbon markets.
The current National Forestry Policy dates from 1999 and promotes the sustainable productive use of forest resources. It prioritises conservation, sustainable management and plantation forestry, particularly through financial incentives.
In practice the main tools of national forest policy are financial incentives for plantations and conservation through the PINFOR (Forestry Incentive Programme) and PINPEP (Incentive Programme for Small-scale Possessors of Forest or Agro-Forest Land) programmes.
Other relevant policies include the National Biodiversity Policy 2011, as materialised in the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2012-2022 of the same year, which refers to the need to reduce deforestation and degradation.