The Livelihoods Fund, Government of Guatemala and NGO Fundaeco announced an innovative partnership to implement the largest community reforestation project ever undertaken in Guatemala.
The project aims to protect primary forests of Cerro San Gil, a region rich in biodiversity being threatened by the impact of human activities. It will enable small producers from local communities to improve their income and living conditions through agroforestry.
Like other Livelihoods projects, project Cerro San Gil will be deployed on a large scale: millions of trees and plants of various species (citrus, coffee, cardamom, cocoa, mahogany, laurel, cedar …) will be planted on 4,000 hectares in the next three years to come.
Validated by the Livelihoods Fund Investments Committee in July 2013, the project was officially launched last week as part of the 10th National Congress of the Guatemala Forest. This tripartite initiative that supports food security, economic development and improvement of living conditions of local communities was presented in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture of Guatemala Elmer Rodriguez, along with representatives of the Livelihoods funds, local administrations and NGO Fundaeco.
Coordinated on the field by Fundaeco, the project is on the right track: 300 hectares have been planted in three months on the foothills of the mountains with local communities. The results are encouraging, given the goal of 4,000 hectares to be planted by 2016. The Livelihoods fund will invest 2.3 million euros in the project for the establishment of nurseries, technical and logistical support, training communities and helping to monitor plantations. For its part, the Government of Guatemala will contribute up to 1.8 million euros through PINFOR, a reforestation program funding.
The project Cerro San Gil is not limited to just replanting: the economic development of production (rubber, fruit, coffee, perfume plants), marketing and processing of the products are included in agreements established between stakeholders. The goal is to ultimately maximize the value created for small producers.
Environmentally, this Livelihoods project helps protect the unique natural reserve of Cerro San Gil, storing nearly 2 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and thereby reducing the impact on climate change.
This project is the sixth investment of the Livelihoods fund that was created in late 2011 and that has now nine investors: Danone, CDC Climat, Credit Agricole, Schneider Electric, La Poste, Hermès International, Voyageurs du Monde, SAP, and Firmenich.
Pictures presenting the project (November 2013). To see the comments of each picture, click on this icon that you can see in the slideshow below.