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Guatemala’s economic and social development is regularly affected by disasters and their effects are particularly burdensome on the most vulnerable population. As the effects of climate change intensify, phenomena such as floods and droughts are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. The occurrence of a natural disaster of severe magnitude would generate significant emergency care needs and thus complicate the government’s efforts to address the challenges of reducing poverty and inequality. On the other hand, Guatemala hosts high levels of biological diversity due to its complex topography. Forests and biodiversity represent both an important development opportunity and a growing challenge for the country. Pressures threaten the conservation of local biodiversity and the well-being of the people who depend on ecosystems for their livelihoods. These long-term alterations enhance the destructive effects of natural disasters in these areas already characterized by high social vulnerabilities. On the other hand, forests provide Guatemala with climate change adaptation and mitigation co-benefits.

HOT will support specifically, with a methodology co-developped with communities, the applications to the Guatemala Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Guatemala (Forest Investment Program), providing the communities, local stakeholders and NGOs, with technical skills for the production of comprehensive data on their territory in support of sustainable project planning, long term monitoring, negotiation processes and advocacy, environmental and economic awareness. The two localities or interests cross the three indigenous networks territories of action, and will enable learnings to be replicated in the rest of the country.