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Guatemala’s economic and social development is regularly affected by the effects of climate change, natural disasters phenomena such as floods and droughts, which are expected to increase in both frequency and intensity. The impact of these events is particularly challenging for the most vulnerable members of the population. The occurrence of frequent natural disasters generates significant emergency care needs and as a result complicates the government’s efforts to address the challenges of reducing poverty and inequality.

On the other hand, Guatemala hosts high levels of biodiversity due to its varied topography. Forests provide Guatemala with climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits. Forests and biodiversity represent both an important development opportunity and a growing challenge for the country. Environmental pressures threaten the conservation of local biodiversity and the well-being of the people who depend on these ecosystems for their livelihoods. Long-term alterations compound the destructive effects of natural disasters in areas already characterized by high social vulnerabilities.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is co-developing a methodology with the communities, namely an application for the Guatemala Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Guatemala (Forest Investment Program).

The goal is to provide the communities, local stakeholders and NGOs, with technical skills to produce comprehensive data on their territory. The data produced will support sustainable project planning, long term monitoring, negotiation processes and advocacy and environmental and economic awareness. The two localities of interests cross the three indigenous networks’ territories of action and will enable knowledge-sharing to be replicated in the rest of the country.