Protected Areas of Guatemala

Meeting with the National Council of Protected Areas (Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas – CONAP) to know more about the biodiversity conservation strategy in Guatemala. We interviewed Licda. Astrid López: Chief of Cultural Heritage and Ecotourism Unit, Ing. Agr. Carlos Godoy: coordinator of SIGAP (Sistema de Guatemala de Áreas Protegidas) y Arq. Dafne Edith Domínguez: Technical Assistant of the General Technical Direction.
Photo en la oficina de CONAP, Ciudad de Guatemala

Photo en la oficina de CONAP, Ciudad de Guatemala

Its mission it to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and protected areas of Guatemala, as well as natural goods and services provided to present and future generations, to coordinate and ensure implementation of policies, standards incentives and strategies in collaboration with other actors. Guatemala is megadiverse if we consider that it hosts 7 biomes, more than 15000 species. Here is the presentation for more information SIGAP y medio ambiente.

The CONAP is a decentralized public entity, autonomous and recognized for its effective work with other stakeholders to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of protected areas and biological diversity of Guatemala.

In comparison with its homologous in Mexico CONANP which is a commission, the Council is composed of representatives of stakeholders: Ministry of environment and natural resources, Union of municipalities, Tourism Institute, Forest Institute, Conservationist Study Center, Anthropology and History Institute and Defensores de la naturaleza representing non-governmental organizations.

The SIGAP (Guatemalan System for Protected Areas) was established in 1989 to integrate every protected area into a common strategy of the CONAP. With 322 protected areas, notably 5 Biosphere Reserves among them 3 are recognized as Biosphere reserve of the Man and Biosphere program of the UNESCO, the SIGAP covers 32% of the national territory, almost the third of its surface. The Mayan Biosphere Reserve, flanked on the border of the Peten peninsula, is huge and

Lago Atitlan enfin avec le soleil, Guatemala

Lago Atitlan enfin avec le soleil, Guatemala

as you can imagine hard to control. The CONAP is working with about 500 patrol agents, but it is not enough to control all the area, often of inaccessible and inhospitable lands to protect against illegal trades, deforestation, etc.

The current challenge of the CONAP is to develop appropriate management plans in every protected area as well as developing sustainable tourism in specific areas. About this last issue, a SIGAP website is really well-organized and full of interesting information for tourists. Future visitors of this beautiful country should have a look on it. Here you’ll find more information about the work of the CONAP. Thanks to that and the kind advice of CONAP’s staff, we could plan our visit to the Corazon de Bosque, a comunity-based tourism project in Solola published in the blog.

Keep moving on guys!



2 réflexions sur “Protected Areas of Guatemala

  1. I like the way SIGGAP it’s trying to help the nature of Guatemala, Because in my opinion not all people tend to see that. Instead of that they all kill nature. I have like the Biotopo del Quetzal that is a protected area, it’s a pretty nice area. So while you are enjoying and seeing the beuty or that area, your are also helping to keep protecting that area.

    • Completely agree with you Tris. That’s what I try to promote here in these columns, project of tourism that contribute to the local development. I wanted to visit the Biotope del Quetzal but finally I did not because it was a big detour out of my itinerary to the capital from Puerto Barrios. Nice to see that you liked this place!

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