Community Forestry in the Highland Region of Guatemala
Value-addition has been a focus of our Forestry Enterprises in Guatemala project. It will continue to be a focal point as we expand into the Quetzaltenango department, where we'll work with three new small and medium carpentry enterprises, and the Sololá department, where we'll incorporate one additional business. Our project activities will strive to increase value-added capabilities by enhancing businesses' abilities to respond to existing market opportunities and to use Forest Stewardship Council-certified, legal timber.
To improve biodiversity conservation in the region, the project will support the Regional Municipal Parks Initiative, which is focused on bringing FSC certification to existing sustainable, low-impact forestry activities on 864 acres (350 hectares). The Regional Municipal Parks are located in San Marcos, and our main local partner will be Helvetas, an organization that has been instrumental in promoting sustainable management and conservation in the region.
The project aims to improve business skills and open access to financial services and sustainable markets for a group of six small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region: Carrocerías Xela, Aserradero García, Carpintería La Rambla, two new carpentry workshops in Sololá, and two reforestation associations in San Marcos, Tacaná. Our level of involvement will vary, based on the requirements of each SME to improve competitiveness.
Project beneficiaries assisted over the last two years will continue to be supported, but at a less intensive level. Ultimately, we hope to guarantee their sustainability over the long term and then shift our focus to new SMEs or organizations. The inputs and assistance provided to each new group will be based on an evaluation of each group's needs and a detailed work plan.