Guatemala has a surface area of 10,889,000 hectares, with an altitude that ranges from 0 to 4,211 meters above sea level. The most recent estimate in 2010 indicates that forest coverage in Guatemala is about 3,722,595 hectares, or 34.2 percent of national territory. Guatemala has a population of 15.86 million inhabitants, 54 percent of which live in poverty, 13 percent in extreme poverty. Additionally, 51 percent of the population is rural, with 32 percent dependent on agriculture. In rural areas, 95 percent of the population depends on timber, representing a significant number of livelihoods directly linked to the forest.
Guatemala’s annual deforestation rates are estimated at around 1 percent between 2006-2010. In Guatemala, the main drivers of deforestation are changes in land use, agriculture, livestock, illegal logging, and forest fires. However, future outlook is optimistic as the country is committed to fighting deforestation with forestry incentive programs, which have benefited population (especially those living in poverty). Over the past 16 years, the country has invested more than $270 million, which has benefited more than 900,000 people who depend directly on forests. Approximately 47 percent are women, alongside 18 to 23 linguistic groups from indigenous people throughout the country.
The most recent forest cover estimates for Guatemala found that, as of 2010, forests comprised 34.2% of total land area.
In conjunction with the World Bank, IADB, and UN-REDD program, Guatemala is partnering with the CIF to leverage FIP funding. FIP financing will support the implementation of priority actions within the REDD+ National Strategy framework. Participation in the FIP is expected to strengthen efforts to improve socioeconomic conditions of the population, with specific attention to vulnerable groups. Guatemala has itself developed a range of instruments for financial promotion and participation of civil society to support the protection and sustainable management of forests, reduce emission, and increase carbon stocks. With FIP resources, the country will aim to generate more than 900,000 new non-agricultural jobs to protect and recover the forests, reducing CO2 emissions by 115 million tons. The government, with FIP funding, will link forest, industry, and markets to strengthen an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in forest protection and conservation efforts. Through both public and private investments, both REDD+ activities and FIP funding are expected to create a transformational impact in Guatemala.