Guatemala Biodiversity Project
Guatemala’s rich – yet fragile – ecosystems must be safeguarded through strong environmental governance to improve livelihoods.
From mangroves to pine trees and sea turtles to quetzals, Guatemala is home to an incredibly diverse host of species and ecosystems. As one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, Guatemala’s biodiversity underpins its food security, clean air and water, economic development, and local livelihoods. But its complex ecosystems are vulnerable to equally complex threats.
Using a local systems approach, USAID’s Guatemala Biodiversity Project strengthened environmental governance and conservation of Guatemala’s System of Protected Areas, thereby improving livelihoods with sustainable results. Through national capacity building and pilot interventions in three of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the country, the project fostered biodiversity conservation with better information on species and ecosystems, stronger policy and legislative reforms, enforcement and prosecution of wildlife crime, and local stakeholder engagement. By building capacity and improving governance, USAID’s Guatemala Biodiversity Project helped local species thrive alongside their human counterparts.